Forever 21 (SM Mall of Asia)
Fashion to the fifth
By Earl D. C. Bracamonte
Shopping gets more exciting for the metro's southern stylish set as Forever 21 (F21) opened its new outlet at the 2nd level of SM Mall of Asia. This is the famous American clothing chain's fifth store in the Philippines. Partnering with the SM Retail Group in the Philippines, it is not surprising that the popular American brand has become the source of the latest finds at great value since the phenomenal launching of its flagship store at SM Megamall in 2010.
One of the fastest growing and most successful apparel lines, F21 has quickly become the source of the latest fashion trends at the greatest price points. After initially opening in Los Angeles in 1984 as Fashion 21, the store has since become a style destination to fashion-forward shoppers. Eventually changing its name to Forever 21, the chain has close to 500 stores in operation all over the United States and around the globe.
Like other F21 stores around the metro, the 2,000-sq-m outlet at the SM Mall of Asia has a fashion-packed selling area that is bright and elegant; showcasing the latest trends and creative styling on and off the world’s fashion runways. The glass windows display an attention-grabbing sneak peek at the store's exciting merchandise. Opulent chandeliers, ornate mouldings and fixtures, eclectic furnishings and décor, and attractive murals mix old world charm and elegance with a fresh modern day look. It has modern interior design details that make it easy for shoppers to see the wide assortment.
As shoppers navigate inside the store, subtle changes in design elements transport them seamlessly to the different areas in the store housing the different F21 looks and sub-brands. New, beautifully styled mannequins and attractive focal displays will inspire shoppers and keep their fashion imagination running while they shop.
F21 is young, fun and full of ebullience with diverse styles attractive to anyone and everyone, regardless of age. Here, you’ll find colour-filled vibrant basics and neutral closet staple; as well as fun, flirty intimate and resort wear as well as sporty, athletic pieces.
“Forever 21 is, simply put, fashion for less. With fashion as fickle as the weather, F21 keeps a constant fresh supply of the latest and trendiest with its exciting, eclectic lines which style-conscious and trend-savvy shoppers can mix, match and love. Our stores have everything from teens to women of all ages and sizes. We have six different concepts – Forever 21, Love 21, Heritage 1981, 21 Men, Forever 21 Girls and Forever 21+. The per-area concept is identical worldwide: it looks the same whichever F21 store you visit. Our inventory pretty much covers everything; from basics to trendy items with lots of assortment that change daily. Moreover, all the collections are overhauled every so often. So if you see something you want, better get it or you may not find it in your next visit. This store also has a wide collection of shoes, accessories and intimate apparel,” enthused Alex Ok, president of Forever 21, during an intimate, albeit brief, interview after the opening ceremonies.
The spotlessly clean floors by the For Love 21 area enhance the chic fashion-forward accessory section. The overall ambiance highlights the exciting assortment of up-to-the-minute fashion choices, as well as creates a memorable shopping experience.
With a fast turnover of inventory that reflects the ever-changing moods of fashion, the SM Mall of Asia outlet features well-loved F21 merchandise as well as five other concepts: Forever 21, Heritage 1981, Forever 21 Girls, 21 Men, and Forever 21+ which style-conscious and trend-savvy shoppers can mix, match and layer on.
Heritage 1981 is an ageless brand that mixes timeless basics, collegiate, vintage-inspired designs, and a splash of the newest trends, bringing together natural beauty and adventurousness. With its Coachella Music Festival inspired clothes, this section is youthful, modern and care-free. It is designed for those who love to mix the old with the new.
Love 21 is designed for the sophisticated F21 women. Distinguished by its elevated fabric construction, trims and cuts, pieces from this section are contemporary, polished, and preppie with a twist; while 21 Men is for the contemporary man of style. With its versatile range of classic, casual and urban clothes and accessories, this collection is for guys of all ages. Forever 21+, on the other hand, are for women of full girth and ample body shapes while Forever 21 Girls is for younger distaff.
With a bit of mix & match magic, fashionistas can also go wild on prints – from different floral renderings to smart stripes. Colors range from subtle to bold, with some neon on the side. It's a totally eclectic mix of looks ranging from Southwestern and Navajo-inspired denim and eyelet pieces; to tribal ethnic expressions featuring Aztec and ikat prints, tie-dyes, and embroideries; and feminine Parisian looks with tutus paired with logo tees. There are deconstructed and textured pieces for a rugged rebel look, enhanced by camouflages, cut-outs and grommets.
“While all our stores generally have the same stuff, there are other items that can only be found in a particular outlet. Forever 21+ is our new addition to the sub-brands. We will be opening another outlet in Davao City by the end of September. And then ten more stores around the country in the next 2-3 years. We boast of the widest collection of merchandise on display. We have something for everybody, with a new product each and every day,” Alex revealed at the end of our colloquy.
Whatever your fashion persuasion may be, F21 has got you fully covered. It continues to extend its fashion reach with its other stores in SM Makati, the North Wing of SM City Cebu and, more recently, The Block at SM City North Edsa. Everyone is abuzz about this new outlet opening. Don’t be left out, catch the fashion fever very soon! For more information, simply log-on to their Web site www.forever21ph.com.