I took some time this week to read an article about Forever 21: its origins and its future. It’s a long read, but a fascinating one. I copied and pasted all these quotes that I could talk about, but then I realized that it would make this post too long and unwieldy.
I think the highlights are Forever 21’s modest origins, and the real estate it claims today (everything from London’s Oxford street to Tokyo’s Shibuya’s district to Times Square); the strong faith of its founders, Mr. and Mrs. Chang, which is at odds with the fast-paced, materialistic race to satisfy transient fashion trends; and the various claims about sweatshop labor and design copying that Forever 21 has accrued over the years.
Seriously: if Hollywood wanted to make a movie with Asian Americans, they could ditch the Tiger Mom and write about the Changs. It might reinforce other Asian stereotypes (they’re all logic and no creativity, they’re cheap, they’re hardasses), but it would make a fascinating dissection of one of the biggest clothing chain stores in America today.