In the midst of back-to-school shopping season, it has been reported fashion mega-retailer Forever 21 is exploring Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The news has arrived with a chorus of boos from the Twitter-verse, which seems eager to dance on the brand's grave and cash out jokes on the ironic word "forever" its name.
Over the years, Forever 21 has become synonymous with the term "fast fashion." At a time when Americans buy an average of 59 items of clothes per year (as opposed to 28 in the mid-1990s), the California-based retailer has garnered heaps of criticism for promoting this practice. The pace of Forever 21's production of semi-on-trend, super cheap clothing has also led to allegations of intellectual property infringement and accusations appropriation ranging everywhere from Gucci to NWA. Furthermore, a quick scroll through the brand's e-commerce site would leave any bystander in disbelief how cheap this green distressed crew neck is.
While news of Forever 21's extreme financial woes comes with a great deal of schadenfreude, it forecasts a gloomy outlook for shopping in general. Less than a month ago, the decidedly less down-market department store Barneys New York filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, signaling the distress being felt in all corners of brick-and-mortar retail. The news also doubtlessly leaves a lot of mall landlords questioning what they are going to do with millions of square feet of shop space dedicated to selling $24.99 logo hoodies. Or maybe they're too "Blessed" to be stressed.