Where is Forever 21 clothing made? - Unitech Student

Where is Forever 21 clothing made?

width="280"Rachel Kane, a new media consultant from LA who runs the blog WTForever 21, says she used to walk into Forever and see "crazy plastic rhinestone-encrusted, feathered ridiculousness." She wondered who was buying these out-there items, but knew that the stores were always packed.

"Forever 21 is really very adventurous, far more than other fast fashion retailers, and that’s why you’ve seen them come out ahead, " Kane says. "They don’t brand themselves with any specific type of style, saying it's edgy or preppy. They just aren’t anything, and that’s what sells. Traditionally, that’s been a death sentence to brands."

Forever has been around since 1984, when it was started by the Changs, a Korean immigrant couple in Los Angeles. It didn't amass success by selling a narrow aesthetic, unlike, say, the wildly successful Brandy Melville, with its restricted color palette and sizing scheme. Instead, it chose to focus on trends—all of 'em. Its original name was Fashion 21, and the first LA store was filled with "cheaply made, skimpy clothes for teens, all produced by Korean-American manufacturers, " a lengthy 2011 feature about the brand by Bloomberg notes.

Models at the European launch of Forever 21 in London. Photo: Getty Images

width="280"In the beginning, Jin Sook steered the brand's design; Bloomberg wrote that she had a "sharp eye for easy-to-copy trends." Since then, Forever has mastered the art of producing of-the-moment pieces with strikingly fast turnaround. This trend-focused, rather than brand-focused, strategy has made the company a go-to for customers who want a little bit of everything.

"Brands like Abercrombie and Fitch never moved their offer. They stuck rigidly to what they thought was their style—a washed-out Americana look—and their customer moved on, " notes Ruth Chapple, trends director at Stylus Fashion. "Forever 21’s speed to market and eye on trends are absolutely spot-on. It appeals not only to the teen market, but to all customers that appreciate items that don’t have longevity and aren’t worth the financial commitment."

Forever has mastered the art of producing of-the-moment pieces with strikingly fast turnaround.

"Its clothing is really not an age thing, " adds Dev Mukherjee, an analyst with Privco. "At Forever 21, a 16-year-old and 26-year-old can wear the same thing. A lot of brands target a specific age group; Forever bypasses that strategy altogether, which maximizes its customer base."

Many believe the company's success is now driven by the cofounder's daughters, Linda, 33, and Esther, 28. They started working at the company in 2009; Linda was brought on to run marketing, and Esther, to oversee visual merchandising. Forever saw near-immediate financial returns after bringing on the sisters. According to a Privco report, annual revenue jumped from $2.66 billion to $3.39 billion in 2011.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg with Forever 21 CEO Don Won Chang and his daughter Linda, the company's vice president of merchandising. Photo: Getty Images

"They understand what their customers want and give it to them, " says Gary Wassner, co-CEO of fashion finance firm Hilldun. "When the customer grows up, they let them go and then cultivate the next generation. They don’t anticipate keeping them loyal for 15 years."

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