Friday, 5 August 2011

forever 21.

today i checked out the new forever 21 shop (store? shop? store?) in oxford street, london. if i were to sum up my impression of the place in one word, it would be "yuck". cheap clothes, cheap quality, cheap service. cheap, cheap, cheap. and not cheap in a h&m sort of way whereby you find the odd gem and leave happy knowing you didn't pay all that much for it. this was just... blah. i wandered around thinking that perhaps i'm just too old for forever 21 - that is, until i saw people my age/older clutching bundles of clothing in their arms. the staff are horrifically slow, but i think that is because they are new recruits and still learning the ropes.

i don't think american equivalents of high-street fashion ever really translate well in the uk, to be honest. they could be okay, but never as successful as continental exports such as zara, mango and h&m, amongst others. it could just be my experiences but people tend to "binge" in the same american shops and end up looking massively douchey (urban outfitters, abercrombie & fitch, hollister, i'm looking at all of you). in the eyes of american brands, people are compartmentalised and social groups probably resemble that of glee. urban outfitters - maybe a girl who likes quaint jewellery isn't a hardcore indie kid who doesn't want to team it up with curtain-esque florals all the time, and deserves a little more choice?

i know that to some extent, every shop has its own target market and you would probably have to fit within that market in order to like what they have. but, within british/european shops, i feel like the target audience is much more wider and encompassing. american brands seem to box up people into very specific categories - hipster, 14 year old teenage girl, sporty and so forth - and if you don't fit into that, you'll be hideously hard-pressed to actually love anything. british brands do appeal to certain styles (they have to, for marketing!) and as much as topshop pisses me off at times, it is an example of different types of people all coming within one shop and actually finding something that's for them - and it is that which i find to be lacking in american exports.

forever 21 is not this type of place.

however - praise the lord because i braved another floor. forever 21's saving grace is right there: the jewellery and accessories. it is actually really impressive! which makes me wonder why on earth no one is raving about it. why are the accessories so scarce in the window displays?! WHY AM I SEEING MORE FLORAL DRESSES ALL THE TIME?! seriously, my vision of america is all the women wearing floral dresses and making the streets of america resemble a wild, tatty meadow. the jewellery is all really, hideously cute. meet my new teddy! totally adorable, and a blatent nod to vivienne westwood's other teddy bear necklace. iz a smug bitch.

my advice? go in, ignore any piece of fabric you see, and go straight to the second floor. it's the only part that is worth your time.


  1. I totally agree! Before it opened in the Uk I always thought that F21 was an awesome shop selling awesome clothes(from hearing so much about it from US YouTubers). The clothes there are such a letdown! But the jewellery and accessories are defo amazing :) xxx

    1. their abundance of panda accessories is the only thing stopping me from hating them. ;)


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