Dear Forever 21,
The minute I heard you file for bankruptcy, I was shocked. Then you closed stores in Japan and parts of America, but I still couldn’t believe what you had done. Your decision got real quickly, though. Your daily newsletters suddenly flooded my inbox. You said that “everything must go.” I watched your website vanish with my own eyes. When I tried to browse you one last time, everything was gone. All the clothes I admired were suddenly unavailable, all the accessories I would be excited to wear were instantly off the shelves, and the impact that you have created through the accessibility of all shapes and sizes wearing your brand were slipping.
Since you officially close this week, I just wanted to say a few words before you go.
Although everyone’s been saying that your graphic t-shirts were the reason for your downfall, thank you for making clothes that had the perfect mix of comfort, style, and affordability. Because I’m a plus-size girl and cute plus-size clothing is hard to find, you were the very first store that introduced me to a collection of apparel that didn’t make me look outdated. Before I discovered you guys, I remember browsing through clothing that neither made me look good nor feel trendy. I remember visiting a seamstress every other week because no pair of jeans I bought ever fit quite right. I tried to fit in, wearing the clothes that other stores restricted me to and paid more for the same tops that my thinner friends bought. Eventually, I felt like I didn’t matter because the fashion industry clearly only cared about one body type… and it wasn’t mine.
The day I found out that you had the most stylish collection of plus-size apparel was one of the happiest days of my teenage life. When I walked into your store, I felt like I had hit a gold mine. I left feeling great about every single item that I bought that day. Every pair of jeans fit me in all the right places and every blouse complimented my body shape- instead of shaming it.
Forever 21, you were an important part of my high school experience. Everyone constantly asked me where I bought all of my clothing and accessories, from the shirts I wore to the bracelets I rocked. Your clothing may not have helped me find popularity, but it did help me build self-confidence. My newfound confidence gave me the courage to go out with my friends more because I no longer stressed about my appearance when I was in public.
Thank you for being one of the very first stores to make plus-size girls look good! It has truly meant a lot to us.
Thank you for including us in fashion trends and making us feel better about our bodies. You expanded our style and showed us that every body type deserves access to the cute and trendy clothing.
Forever 21, I’ll truly miss seeing your big, silver sign in every shopping mall I visit. I’ll miss walking into your store and spending less than 60 bucks on a perfectly comfortable, stylish jacket. I will miss your jewelry because no other store had a wider array of faux diamonds than you. Thank you for being there for me when no other retail store was. Thank you for making me feel so beautiful. I will miss you so much.
A Forever Satisfied Customer