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Forever 21's Fast (and Loose) Fashion Empire

Forever 21’s Fast (and Loose) Fashion Empire

Posted inEditor's Pick

Forever 21’s Fast (and Loose) Fashion Empire

Susan Berfield | Bloomberg Businessweek | January 21, 2011 | 4,630 words

How did the Changs, Korean immigrants who opened their first store in a gritty section of Los Angeles in 1984, become such important players in fast fashion? The family credits its accomplishments to hard work, faith, and frugality, though Forever 21 has not prospered without controversy. The company has been accused many times of not just following the trends but selling copies of clothes created by trendy designers. Some of its suppliers, many of whom are part of a tight-knit Korean-American community of manufacturers and vendors that dominate the garment industry in Los Angeles, have been accused of underpaying their workers. Now Forever 21’s expansion raises a question, both strategic and existential: When is more too much?