Forever 21, Forever Poor

Women's clothing store launches maternity clothing!

Says Salon, " [Forever 21's] maternity line [Love 21 Maternity] is premiering in five states, three of which carry the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country." The post goes on to suggest that the new XXII line glamorizes teen pregnancy:
"Of course they're not explicitly endorsing teen pregnancy, but by nudging teens and saying 'If you do find yourself pregnant, looking fashionable is one less thing you'll have to worry about!' the chain is going the Bristol route of unwittingly glamorizing teen pregnancy."
Can we be sure that these clothes are meant for teens? Not really. Forever 21's business has exploded in recent years because the store offers tons of fashions that look good on the rack (don't wash them if you want to wear them again!) for less than $20. H&M is great (read: where I get 90% of my clothes) but the price point is markedly higher.

That means, if I ever wanted a shiny leopard-print ruffle dress (highly unlikley) that won't break the bank, I'm going to Forever 21, even though I'm not 21 anymore. And if a woman is 26, she still hasn't got her first real job (highly likely) and she's pregnant with her first baby, she's probably going to get her maternity wares at Forever 21, too. Clearly the store reaching new demographics, tapping in the reality that twenty-somethings are living like teens -- we're dependent on our parents, emotionally needy and careless with what little money we have.

Kudos Forever 21, on your savvy move. Salon, you've missed the point: 1) Teen pregnancy isn't motivated by fashion. I was a teen girl once. If Forever 21 Maternity existed then, I don't think it would have given me any comfort to know that I could dress in sexy spring fashion trends. And 2) Cheap fashion appeals to consumers of all ages, including Justin Bieber and his mom. Don't be surprised when Forever 21 launches ForeverYoung: The Milf Denim line.


Deanne said...

Hahaha, this made LOL. I want the shiny dress.

Tracy said...

I know this is an older post, but my brain decided to contemplate what I read two weeks prior at 1am today (you know me!).

I like your parallel between leopard print and pregnancy. In addition to the obvious connection--only whores get pregnant--my love for the leopard print dress would last about the same amount of time as my pregnancy would: 2-3 months.

Thanks (as always) for the insomnia diversion, Lau.