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From the looks of things, the magic fairies have been working on overdrive since Monday in preparation for tomorrow's much anticipated opening of the Times Square Forever 21. From an early and exhaustive WWD report, the four-level store looks like an absolute fast-fashion monster.
The massive store has an overarching New York City theme, mixed in with a grab bag of other flashy motifs. The floors are organized into store-within-a-store areas based on notable (or easy to typecast?) Manhattan neighborhoods, like Soho and the Meatpacking District. Although, one outer-borough bone is thrown out to—you guessed it—Williamsburg. There are also iconic (dare we say, pre-Guiliani) New York images on display like yellow police caution tape, scaffolding and a tagged yellow taxi cab. Visual Manager (and daughter of Forever 21 founder) Esther Chang validates the efforts to WWD, saying "We even brought in a real graffiti artist to add a little artistic grit throughout the store.”
Esther also had a hand in creating the Stud Room, a very literal name for an area that carries all studded clothing—even the walls are covered in over 3000 studs. The Times Square location also features 21 Men for menswear, HTG 1981 for children's wear, accessories and cosmetics. Love 21 (the line described by founder Don Chang as having "more sophisticated styles and more modest cuts compared to our other lines", i.e. older) will also be featured here, which totally makes sense since most of our friends have been calling the store "Forever 31" for some time now. Forever 21 is also experimenting with designer collabs, including the August launch of a graphic t-shirt line from Brian Lichtenberg, who was the mastermind behind the crime scene tape design in Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's "Telephone" video.
In order to service all the customers in this behemoth of fast-fashion, the Times Square store offers 151 fitting rooms, 32 cash registers and mind-blowing 500 employees and will switch out merchandise daily. Also unique to the location, the store will be operate long hours from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. From the sounds of it, we might just need those 18 hours to make it all the way through the store.
· Inside the Times Square Forever 21: Signage, but No Clothes Yet [Racked]
· Countdown to Forever 21's Time Square Domination Begins Now [Racked]
· Forever 21 Opens Four-Level Store in Times Square [WWD, subscription req'd]