When Forever 21, the clothing chain from the US opened in the UK yesterday by launching its new Oxford Street store, fast fashion gained ground. There was a queue of hundreds of shoppers around the store, hours before the scheduled grand opening.
Trends were mined here and clothes are everywhere. One display had not only leopard prints, but Breton stripes, shredded red denim, tweedish looking shoes, lace, varsity jackets and Fair Isle prints in just a section of wall not longer than five feet.
The first floor is full of polyester shirts, leather and jersey dresses with box-creases. You see stands with t-shirts with distressed American flags and denim shorts with stripes, easily replicas of the Balmain collection. Every polyester playsuit, lace shirt or skirt made of some synthetic fabric felt to the touch to be unwashable.
There are some clothes that lean towards copyright infringement. Although they have yet to be found guilty of any in the courts in the US, there are over 40 designers including Anna Sui and Diane von Furstenberg that have lawsuits pending for copyright infringement against the business.
You can look around the store in London and find copies of different styles at cut rate prices. But there are positives as well with three floors decked out in complete white making the store both welcoming and bright. Shoppers are not desperate or hassled and they actually look as though they are enjoying themselves.
The helpful and cheery shop assistants are probably the best asset the store has. The store has everything for £40 or less but is a bit different that you will find in many stores. The store is worth a visit to see if you can handle the atmosphere and all the replicas.