Men's Fashions to Women's Passion - Is Designer Wear History?
Today's woman has choices her mother didn't. But does mom have her daughter's figure? Mom can go to the gym, and starve herself slim, but sooner or later her hormones kick in. And unless she's a fan of Suzanne Somers' bioidentical hormone therapy, what's a mom to do?
She can start by browsing stylish fashion emporiums like H&M or its formidable competitor Forever 21/Forever XXI, a billion dollar fashion house with over 400 locations and footage five times most Gap stores. From Pasadena, California to Union Square, New York, Canada and everywhere in between, this shopping mecca is ahead of its European counterparts and sprouting like Chia products. Not just for teenagers, Forever 21 caters to family shoppers, which means men, boys and big bucks. 2006 saw the first opening exclusively for men. Typically, "Forever XXI" stores are larger than "Forever 21."
A Guy's Candid Review
"The size branded on the clothes is the actual size. The Medium is an actual Medium. They know the clothes, they smile, I can ask for advice. Plus I get to hang out with really good looking women."
A tip for you men who are into style but need some help: Check out the latest GQ online for men's designers. I happen to favor Donna Karen (DKNY Men's) fall 2007 collection. But you'll find all of them there. Then compare at H&M or Forever 21 stores. If you bring your wife or girlfriend, prepare to spend some time.
When Fashion Chic is Fashion Cheap
So when mother and daughter-let's call them the Tomases-set off on their monthly shopping-bonding safari, they might steer a course through the aisles of Forever 21, one of the most successful retail fashion houses in the business. Mostly in shopping malls, this Forever 21 is in Manhattan's Union Square location on 14th Street where Mrs. Tomases is looking for trendy that conceals, and sexy that reveals.
Her daughter's approval is important; what mom chooses should be cool but not too young. Mrs. Tomases makes a $17.80 purchase of a blue-patterned sheer chiffon tunic with ruffled placket. Her 26-year-old chooses a red and black floral tunic ($19.80), and chocolate brown wide leg linen pant ($27.80). Who wouldn't shop here? These are chic designer clothes at subway prices! Savvy consumers have learned that to ensure quality, not all roads must lead to Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue. When clothing that's cut couture can be sold at affordable prices, what more can shoppers ask?
Is There a Fox in The Basement?
The founders and owners of the Forever 21/XXI chain are Don and Jin Chang who immigrated to Los Angeles from South Korea in the mid-1980s. Aggressively marketing young and mature women as well as men and children, the Changs have achieved what every immigrant hopes for-the American Dream. Starting with one store in L.A., they began adding new stores every six months. Last year they acquired 40,000-square feet of a former Saks store in Pasadena, California, turning it into a palace of rich looking clothes and other desirable articles for the not so rich.
Preferring to remain a mystery, Mrs. Chang gives no interviews and maintains a profile so low her physical body is off the radar. Ask top designers like Marc Jacobs and Diane Von Furstenberg and they will say it takes months to get their clothes from the runways to the stores. The Changs deliver interpretations of the same item down to the tiniest patterns and finest quality material, within six weeks!
So Sue Me