Sunday, January 30, 2011

Forever 21 ...say it ain't so...

Me one of my fav Forever21 dressses

You may have not been inside the store, but most know it well. Either you passed one of its stores with music blasting, its white walls, and big windows, and bright light luring the fashion conscious inside.

I love this place...All you need is a dollar twenty dollars and a dream.

 Or perhaps you have just seen the bags being toted by passersby in your local mall. I mean with its signature bright yellow and black bag how could it be missed? Whatever your familiarity you should know that Forever 21 is my guilty pleasure. It’s a shop where I can get my retail therapy on the cheap, which is important for a girl trying to make it in NYC.  I used to check their website to get my daily fix when I was unable to walk into the physical store and was never disappointed. 
 My guilt is rooted in my real age not matching that of the store and the fear of going to an event where someone is wearing the same outfit. Earlier this week I was reading one of my fav blogs and noticed a mention of an article about Forever 21.  Now I have researched a little bit about this company before - not only because it is a frequent appearance on my bank statements - but because of one minor inconspicuous detail printed on the bottom of all its shopping bags. John 3:16, a bible verse which starts with "For God so loved the world…. "


Once I found my answer to the rationale behind it, my research on the company was complete.  I moved on and kept shopping, but the article I had found on Bloomberg Business Week’s website was very informative and highlighted a few things I did not know. Here are a few highlights:
·         Forever 21 had a profit of 135 billion at the end of the year 2008. More importantly they accomplished this feat without selling any item over $60.
·         The Chang's (the owners of Forever 21) purposefully order small batches of clothing styles. It’s the old theory of supply and demand. If there is less supply there will be more of a demand for it. They have trained consumers (myself included) to buy items as soon as they see it because it won’t be in store now.  (I’m still waiting for a white dress I saw one night that was out of stock the next morning to come in)
·         As with most large discount store chains (think Walmart) the Changs are facing several law suits for Sweatshop like conditions at it manufacturing sites.” They squeeze their suppliers and make it necessary for them to get things done as quickly and cheaply as possible, no matter what the cost to the workers.” - Bloomberg Business Week. Sound Familiar?
·         The Changs also have faced several lawsuits from other clothing companies such as Anthropologie  for copying their clothing designs. It is currently at a point where they have a policy for businesses that believe their clothing designs have been copied. Basically, Forever 21 gives them a  small percentage of the profits they receive from the item in dispute.

Marc Jacobs vs. Forever 21 source

Ana Sui vs. Forever 21 source

·         Mr. and Mrs. Chang are born again Christians with a deep faith in God. Mrs. Chang had stated that she climbed to a mountain top in L.A. and received a message from God - that if she opened a clothing store she would be successful.
·         Currently, Forever 21 has 477 stores and employs 35,000 people. The company has come a long way from their first store Fashion 21 in L.A. in 1984.
As of right now I will continue to shop in Forever 21 because it is in sync with my budget and fashion needs,  but I will keep my eyes and ears to the streets for signs of F21’s world domination. Let’s just hope it’s not a hostile takeover. ; )  Want to read the article click here.


  1. f21 def has me well trained b/c i will NOT settle for a size medium or whatever is left, we are on team xsmall! so if a small is available its in MY CART in .2 seconds! lol


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