I was sort of sucked into an article which lead to today's post. It was about Forever 21 and was published in the Bloomberg Business Report last week. I have not stopped thinking about it. The article was titled, "Forever 21's Fast (and Lose) Empire" (by Sue Berfield) . The article is FASCINATING! I started by skimming it but was quickly sucked into the fantasy.
For those of you who are not familiar with this brand, it is cheap-chic teen retailer. Forever 21 takes looks from the runway and sell a VERY similar product for a fraction of the cost. They sell a range of products – handbags, clothing, and accessories. The majority of their looks are "stolen".
I have bored you before about my feeling on designers being copied and "stolen" IP rants before. These products are criminal – period. All of you buying handbags and jewelry, that are copies of LV's, Chanel, Tiffany's, and etc at parties, are committing a crime. You are buying stolen property and supporting a black market industry that has substandard work environments and that lacks any regulation. BUT – that is not the part I thought was fascinating.
What I loved about this article is that it is really a modern day fairytale. The article gives the story behind the mess – how this fast growing company was started by two people (Do Won and Jin Sook, or Mr. and Mrs. Chang) who knew NOTHING about retail, grew a little shop into a major corporation, how F21 repeatedly gets sued and loses – yet is still standing and growing. Ms Berfield talks about how The Chang's have managed to keep their company's warehouse private and their company all in the family! Cinderella – move over!
It’s great! Read it – tell me – fab or miz??!!!!