I stopped into Forever 21 to see how cheap jeans could possibly get ($7!). That’s not a clearance price. These pants were designed into a seven dollar price point.
Let’s talk about how you make a seven dollar jean. So, it’s an in-house label, so there’s no retail markup. OK, it’s made in Bangladesh. They move the fiber content to hit the lowest duty possible. The fabric costs about a buck a yard. So, if we can accept a loss leader margin of 20%, then we can get labor at about a buck fifty. Buttons, labels and shit are a quarter. You’re never going to wear seven dollar jeans. You’re just buying them because they’re seven dollars. Leave them there. Nobody has ever seen them outside of the store. They suck.
Next, I saw some t-shirts with a tiger on them. Dresses with a tiger. And tanks. More cat t-shirts. Then leopards. A cougar. What might have been a lynx. Catfaces.
Twenty catfaces were seen in the wild at the Los Cerritos Forever 21. 20% of the items for sale had some kind of catface on them.
It was as if every Forever 21 designer, in every category, was told that if their product for back-to-school didn’t have catfaces, they would be killed.
TREND REPORT: MANDATORY CATFACE
I can picture a poor designer mussing their trendy haircut and crying, “Look, I didn’t want to make a catface sweater, but I have a family!”
Now, just coming from the Fuck Yeah Fest, a ten year event based in Los Angeles, the only city with so little self-awareness it would name something that, it’s evident that young women’s fashion is pretty homogeneous.
Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and H&M all make several lines a season, and, due to identical trend research, they tend to all look the same. Looking around the festival, you can see the options: short jean shorts, floral rompers, circle shirts, crop tops, short dresses with the waist between the waist and the armpit, and maxi dresses. That’s it. Those are the only things available. There wasn’t one pair of low-rise denim shorts. Not one, even though they were ubiquitous a few years ago.
A month ago when I went to So You Think You Can Dance, it was all dresses who were short in the front, and long in the back, schlong dresses that don’t look good on anyone. Also, lace and the color hot salmon. These things are gone now. It’s not that girls are scared of wearing last month’s clothes so much as the things they wear deteriorate by their next period.
Anyway, if you find yourself with the back-to-school crowd, they may look like a bit like a National Geographic special.