Photos show the glittery glory days of now-bankrupt Forever 21, which thrived with cheap styles in the wake of the recession
- Though Forever 21 just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, for a period in post-recession America, the fast-fashion retailer showed no signs of stopping.
- Forever 21 capitalized on consumers who still wanted to look stylish while on a budget. It took over empty storefronts left in the wake of the recession and focused on rapid expansion.
- Now, as consumer sentiment shifts away from fast fashion, the future of Forever 21 remains unclear. We took a look at Forever 21 in its glory days.
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As consumers set aside their aspirations for designer clothing and instead focused on finding ways to look fashionable on the cheap, they soon began clamoring to Forever 21 and competitors like H&M to score $20 dresses or $10 jeggings.Read more: Forever 21, once among America's fastest-growing fast-fashion retailers, files for bankruptcy
Spotting an opportunity to capitalize, Forever 21 began to aggressively take residency in vacated storefronts around the country, left by retailers capsized by the recession. In 2010, Forever 21 opened its massive flagship store in Times Square - spanning 90,000 square feet and four floors - and then set its sights on global expansion, inviting celebrities like Kylie and Kendall Jenner to promote the stores along the way.
However, as the US dollar strengthened, and consumers - especially millennial and Gen Z shoppers - grew wary of the apparel industry's impact on the environment, fast fashion's star began to wane.
As the fate of Forever 21 hangs in the balance, we took a closer look at the fast-fashion company's golden era and the styles that defined it.