Forever 21

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Forever 21, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Apparel
Founded 1984
Headquarters Los Angeles, California[1]
Number of locations 480 (2011) [2]
Key people
Products Clothing, accessories
Revenue Increase US$3.4 billion (2012) [1]
Total assets $1.40 billion (2011) [2]
Employees 30,000 (2012) [1]

Forever 21 is an American chain of clothing retailers with branches in major cities in Latin America, North America, Oceania (Australia in mid 2014),[3] South America, Europe, Asia, England, and the Middle East that offers clothing and accessories for young women, men, and teen girls.


Originally known as Fashion 21, Forever 21 was intended at first for mostly kids and teens. The store was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1984 by Do Won Chang (Hangul: 장도원) and his wife Jin Sook Chang (Hangul: 장진숙).[4] The first Fashion 21 store opened on April 21, 1984. It was located at 5637 N. Figueroa Street in the Highland Park district of Los Angeles. The store sized at only 900 square feet (84 m2). It is still in operation and bears the chain's original name. Trendy designs seen in South Korea were sold and targeted to the Los Angeles Korean American community.[5]

In 1989, Forever 21 opened its 11th store and first store located in a mall, at the Panorama Mall in Panorama City, California. Forever 21 increased its presence by expanding the average size to 5,000 square feet (460 m2) per store. Since then, Forever 21 has been running specialty stores in major mall locations nationwide. In 1995, the chain opened its first location outside of California, which was at Mall of the Americas in Miami, Florida.[6] Adding new stores every six months, Forever 21 had reached a total of 40 stores by 1997.

Creating its own prototype store in Northridge Fashion Center, Forever 21 has employed its proprietary design concepts to all its stores since then. By this time Forever 21 also increased its average size to 9,000 square feet (840 m2) per store in prime spots of top tier malls. In January 2010, Forever 21 opened a massive, 85,000 square feet, 2-tier store at the Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, California, their first flagship department store location.

Forever 21 has received attention in the media[7] for printing "John 3:16" on the bottom of their trademark yellow bags. Founder and CEO Do Won Chang spoke about why he puts the Bible verse on the bags saying, "It shows us how much God loves us. The love he gave us, by giving us his only son, Jesus, was so unbelievable to me. I hoped others would learn of God's love. So that's why I put it there."[8]

On March 15th 2014, Forever 21 opened their first store in Brazil. It is located in São Paulo, at the MorumbiShopping mall. The second store in Brazil opened on March 22nd 2014 at the VillageMall in Rio de Janeiro. Both of the openings in Brazil created a huge media impact, attracting crowds of more than 2.500 shoppers on each of the locations and creating lines of more than 6 hours just to get inside the stores. It was reported that they sold two times more than the expected in less than 24 hours. [9] The company will open 6 more stores in Brazil until 2015, with more expansion plans.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "America's Largest Private Companies". Forbes. November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "#162 Forever 21". Forbes. November 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Forever 21 joins raft of fashion retailers entering Australia". Smart Company. Novembr 25, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ Bensinger, Ken (July 31, 2010). "HOW I MADE IT — Do Won Chang". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ "Young Women's Clothing Brand Information". Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  6. ^ Jeff Koyen. "Steal This Look – Will a wave of piracy lawsuits bring down Forever 21?". Radar Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  7. ^ - NY Sun: Evangelism in Fashion
  8. ^ "High: Interview with CEO and Founder of Forever 21, Do Won Chang". CNN. 
  9. ^ "Loja Forever 21 vende mais que o esperado no primeiro dia no Brasil". Exame (in Portuguese). 16 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Bertão, Naiara Infante (15 March 2014). "Forever 21 chega ao Brasil com roupas, de fato, baratas". Veja (in Portuguese). Retrieved 17 March 2014. 

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