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Girl meets world clothes at forever 21


F orever 21 shoppers are young, grabby and fast, zooming through the Beverly Hills store on heels, their fingers ripping clothes from racks like birds swooping for fish. Stretching over 45,sqft, the Beverly Hills store feels vast and church-like, calm but for the customers, who rarely look at price tags before snatching down a dress, and who all emerge with swollen plastic bags.

Standing outside, in the air-conditioned mall, they sigh. On YouTube, teenage girls upload their Forever 21 "hauls" — spandex tunics, jumpsuits, cocktail rings held too close to the camera; one of the most popular videos has had almost 2m views.

Few bargain brands inspire such a following.

Forever 21 Cool Girl Studded...

Don Chang and his wife Jin Sook now the company's buyer emigrated to California from South Korea inwhen he was While working in an LA petrol station he noticed the most expensive cars were driven by fashion retailers. Three years later, blocks away from the one-bedroom flat where he eventually brought up his two daughters, Linda and Esther now their creative directorChang opened his first shop.

Where the Beverly Hills store is white and soaring, the Koreatown shop is dim-lit and jumbled. While still a working shop, it seems to exist as a museum for the brand, a period piece, a reminder of quite how far the family has come.

The Girl meets world clothes at forever 21 unit over the doors pumps through a steady smell of sweat; the carpet, once beige, is a mottled charcoal. Linda meets me by the counter.

In the U.S. and much...

She recalls her dad giving her the tagging gun on Christmas weekend, when she was two, her job being to price up garments while he worked the counter. She giggles at the memory. And I ask, gently, why they don't clean the carpet.

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