Do Won Chang

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Do Won Chang
Born (1954-03-20) March 20, 1954 (age 66)
NationalityAmerican
OccupationFounder and former owner of Forever 21
Years active1984–2020
EmployerForever 21 (1984–2020) (bankrupt)
Net worth$800 million (September 2019)[1]
Spouse(s)Jin Sook Chang (m.?)
Children2 daughters

Do Won Chang (Hangul: 장도원; born March 20, 1954) is a multi-millionaire Korean-born American businessman. He founded the clothing store chain Forever 21 with his wife Jin Sook Chang.

Early life[edit]

Chang grew up in South Korea and moved to California in 1981 with his wife, Jin Sook Chang.[2] He never attended university and worked in coffee shops growing up.[3]

Career[edit]

He and his wife, Jin Sook (Hangul: 진숙), opened a 900-square foot clothing store then named Fashion 21 in 1984 in Highland Park, Los Angeles with only $11,000 in savings. The store took off, and as they expanded to other locations, the store's name was changed to Forever 21 otherwise known as XXI. The number of stores grew to 600, with 30,000 employees by 2015.[4] The company has remained a family owned operation. It has filed for bankruptcy protection as of 2019.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

Do Won Chang and Jin Sook Chang have two children, and live in Beverly Hills, California.[7] They are Christians, which is why John 3:16 is on the bottom of every bag.[8]

Their two daughters, Esther and Linda Chang, co-founded the company Riley Rose, a make-up and accessory company that Forever 21 carries in its stores. Linda was also in charge of marketing at Forever 21, while Esther was in charge of visual design.[3]

Philanthropy[edit]

The Changs have donated money to churches and faith groups, and Do Won travels to perform missionary work.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rogers, Taylor Nicole. "The husband and wife duo behind Forever 21 have reportedly reached a deal to sell the fast fashion retailer, after having lost nearly $4 billion from their personal net worths since 2015". Business Insider.
  2. ^ Chung, Grace (October 5, 2016). "Exclusive Interview With One Of America's Most Successful Immigrants: Forever 21's Do Won Chang". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-01-28.
  3. ^ a b "HOW I MADE IT — Do Won Chang". Los Angeles Times. 2010-07-31. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  4. ^ a b Bensinger, Ken (July 31, 2010). "How I Made It — Do Won Chang". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-01-28.
  5. ^ "Forever 21 files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy". INQUIRER.net. Associated Press. 2019-09-30. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  6. ^ "Forever 21 files for bankruptcy protection". BBC News. 2019-09-30. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  7. ^ "Forbes profile: Jin Sook & Do Won Chang". Forbes. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  8. ^ Wiseman, Eva (July 16, 2011). "The gospel according to Forever 21". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-28.