Thursday, May 20, 2010

Forever 21: Haute or Not?

I know that Forever 21 gets tons of flack for blatantly ripping off designs from even the biggest houses of fashion. I know that I still like to shop there. I also know that sometimes when I'm browsing the website catalogue, I think to myself, "DAMN, that is tacky/extremely lacking in taste."

But I wonder... if you DID see one of those atrocious things walk down a runway with a designer label slapped across it, would you suddenly see it as a work of art, a daring poke at society, or merely craziness that you "can respect"?

Let's play a game: five images that are NOT judged as tacky or fashionable or anything by me personally, but are undeniably out-there in their designs... can you tell what's haute and what's not? ;)

Post your answers in the comments! And no cheating!!





  1. 1. haute
    2. not
    3. not
    4. haute
    5. not

  2. 1. Hot

    I realize I am supposed to guess what is "critically" hot, but truthfully, the rest are interesting but don't make me tingle.

    Also, this is not redundant, in case you're wondering who I am.

  3. First, to fulfill the requirements of the game:

    1. haute
    2. haute
    3. not
    4. haute
    5. not

    Second, to fulfill the requirements of my conscience:

    A. Honestly, I don't think my guesses mean anything and here is why: in the entire Forever 21 franchise, they employ all of ZERO designers. So when something looks like it could have walked the runway, it probably did. Even if it doesn't look like it, it probably did. The difference between F21 and designers is not design, but quality and originality. F21 sends reps to major fashion shows and they knock out a cheap copy of it ASAP. You can see this as a problem or as not a problem, but I personally believe that design should be copywrited, as it is in the UK. In the US, only fabric and logos are copywrited. Often, small designers will sell only a single version of a dress they designed, only to have it bought out by cheap powerhouses like Forever 21, who mass produce it and sell it for twenty bucks. Of course, most of the people who have sued F21 are already big names like Diane von F├╝rstenberg and Gwen Stefani, but I have seen dresses where I own the original in F21 and no lawsuits came about. And, even if the designers don't need the money to subsist, I believe that it is an ethical issue when designs are being unabashedly stolen.

    B. You should watch Made in LA. Trailer:
    It shows some of the sweatshop conditions in which F21 garments were made. So, in other words, the way they can afford to make sell these clothes at prices way cheaper than the designer versions is that they don't pay for designers because they steal designs and they don't pay their workers a living wage. Although it is easy to suppress thoughts of the sweatshop workers making your clothing when you find a cute dress, I urge you to think about the implications that your purchase is making.

    I personally refuse to buy products that were made in sweatshops and do my best not to buy designer knock-offs (though there have been a few lapses in that second one).

    I know this is not wanted, but I do feel the need on any post about F21 to point this out. I know this is meant to be a lighthearted game and I know no one likes a lecture, but I would rather annoy a couple of people than accept sweatshop labor as the status quo and do nothing about it.

    In conclusion: people deserve to be treated as people. Don't support sweatshops.

  4. Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3?

  5. I'll definitely check that out! Just for clarity, I'm not trying to make any statements about the right or wrongs of Forever 21- it's just really interesting to learn about the relationships (or lawsuits, rather) between the company and the rest of the fashion world.

    For my major at college I will be living in South central LA for a semester with a host family and exploring the various social injustices occurring there, among them sweatshops. I'm very excited to watch that film thanks!

  6. Wonderful collection of fashionable dresses for women. I'm totally impressed. Beautiful dress looking very cute and amazing. Great post and suggestion to select the dress. All of them are looking amazing!!!!


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