Forever 21

29 Apr

I’m not really interested in fashion brands. I’m especially unfamiliar with the latest brands in other countries (outside Japan).

But I heard on the TV news today about a clothing store in America called Forever 21.


Do you know this store? Do you shop there?

First of all, it seems that Forever 21 has a clothing line titled “Shibuya Mon Amour“.
It’s supposedly a cross between Tokyo fashion and French fashion. (Shibuya is a part of Tokyo popular with young people).

I was surprised by that! Is 渋谷 (Shibuya, Tokyo) famous overseas?
Before I came to Japan, I had never heard of Shibuya, Akihabara, Roppongi, or any other sections of Tokyo (I came to Japan in 1990. Before the internet. So it was a different world back then).

I also heard that the American pop singer Gwen Stefani loves the 原宿 (Harajuku) section of Tokyo, which is popular with a different group of young people that those who like 渋谷 (Shibuya).
There are “Harajuku girls” and “Shibuya girls” in Tokyo. Even though those two areas are close to each other, the fashion of each is quite different from the other. That singer, Gwen Stefani, calls her back-up dancers “Harajuku Girls”.

Anyways, the reason that the American clothing store chain “Forever 21” was on the news in Japan today isn’t because of their “Shibuya Mon Amour” line…it’s because they opened their first store in Japan today.
It’s in the 原宿 (Harajuku) section of Tokyo.

Whenever a new store opens in Japan, they almost always have a big “Grand Opening Sale”…which results in a crowd of customers waiting to get in even before the store opens.

Here’s a picture of the crowd that was waiting to get into the Forever 21 Tokyo store today for their Grand Opening sale:

Grand Opening of "Forever 21" in Tokyo.

Grand Opening of "Forever 21" in Tokyo.

25 Responses to “Forever 21”

  1. VALLEYGIRLL June 29, 2009 at 5:40 pm #




    • tokyo5 June 29, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

      “Valleygirl”!! I haven’t heard that expression since the 1980s! 🙂

      I think the Forever 21 type of store doesn’t fit in with 原宿 (Harajuku)’s image.

      But if you love the Forever 21 store, you should come to Tokyo and see if the store here is different from the one in Los Angeles (I assume that’s where you’re from since you wrote it in your comment. 🙂 )


  2. gaijinnosekai May 6, 2009 at 5:55 am #

    yeah, I thought it was, second time I saw the video I realised it was the crossing where the Sony Building is located.


    • tokyo5 May 6, 2009 at 11:50 am #

      Yeah, that’s funny that they didn’t show the intersection that they were talking about.


  3. gaijinnosekai May 5, 2009 at 12:25 am #

    lol yeah, I did think it looked like Ginza when I saw it. Thanks for the videos.


    • tokyo5 May 5, 2009 at 12:31 am #

      Were you able to recognize it as Ginza?


  4. Brenda May 3, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    We had Forever 21 in Tampa, I shopped there a few times.

    No one I know in the U.S. has ever heard of Shibuya, but they all know the name Harajuku b/c of Gwen Stefani (although she pronounces it Hair-uh-joo-koo), she has a whole fashion line: clothes, bags, perfume, etc. called Harajuku Lovers. My daughter has several of the perfume fragances.


    • tokyo5 May 3, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

      My oldest daughter and her friends went to 原宿 (Harajuku) today, actually.


  5. gaijinnosekai May 3, 2009 at 7:52 am #

    There don’t seem to be any Forever21 stores in England. People seem to be generally aware of Shibuya here though, although probably not many people know about Harajuku. When I went to Harajuku it reminded me very much of Camden Town in London. I heard they’re changing one of the crossroads in London (Oxford circus one) so that its the same style as the Hachiko crossing in Shibuya, it’ll be much easier for pedestrians to cross hopefully.


    • tokyo5 May 3, 2009 at 10:44 am #

      >changing one of the crossroads in London…same style as…in Shibuya

      Really? Are they actually using Tokyo as a model? Or is it a coincidence?


      • gaijinnosekai May 3, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

        Yeah, they’re using Tokyo as a model because the system is quite good with dealing with huge crowds. At the moment the crossing at Oxford circus gets very congested and you can’t cross diagonally which is a bit of a pain. I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out. You can read more about it here:

        There’s a video at the bottom of the page also 🙂


      • tokyo5 May 3, 2009 at 8:24 pm #

        That was very interesting. Thanks.

        Yes, it says in the article:

        Based on crossings in Tokyo…

        The video was interesting too.
        One thing I noticed, though…in the video, they said the new x-ing in London will be based on the intersection in Shibuya, Tokyo, but the video shows an intersection in Ginza, Tokyo! 😉

        I have a couple videos of the intersection in Shibuya:



  6. bartman905 May 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    With 3 young girls and your wife, you must be an expert in womens fashion 😉 Just kidding, couldn’t help it!


  7. Sir Pent April 30, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    I haven’t seen a Forever 21 in the Chicago area, but I rarely hit the “hip” shopping scenes.


    • tokyo5 April 30, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

      I’m not a big fan of shopping in general…but I have three teenage daughters—shopping is their “hobby”! 🙂


    • pescardogy January 7, 2010 at 8:48 pm #

      I used to stay in Chicago, North Suburb from 2000 to 2004. I always went to Forever 21 in Schumburg, IL. I think the mall name is marshallfield. so must be have in other place too around Chicago. they are so cheap but chic!


      • tokyo5 January 8, 2010 at 12:48 am #

        These types of stores are common in America, I think.
        But they’re a recent phenomenon in Japan due to the bad economy. It has caused a new phrase to be coined here to describe these types of stores: “Fast fashion”.

        Most stores in Japan aren’t the “chain” variety. I hope this trend doesn’t continue actually…I think the “unique” store that are common in Japan are better.


  8. cuteandcurls April 30, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    😀 @ your guess, totally agree on that hehehe. We’ve got Forever 21 over here too. I do like some of the fashion style which I find is a classic. Shibuya is very well known out here ..i heard alot about Shibuya through my dad and my younger sister. In department stores or privately owned boutiques there are some carrying harajuku lines. I like some of them with the prints but most of their fashion I know I cant wear them at my age now.


    • tokyo5 April 30, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

      They have a “Harajuku line” of clothes in your country?
      I wanna see it! I wonder how close it is to the real Harajuku style.


      • cuteandcurls May 1, 2009 at 8:50 am #

        its just a small boutique tho selling what they call Harajuku but im not sure if it is harajuku 😀 but i could try and take photos of their clothings for you when I can.


      • tokyo5 May 1, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

        You don’t need to take photos just for me!
        Actually, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell how “authentic” the fashion is. 😉


  9. Tornadoes28 April 30, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    That store is in most shopping malls here in Los Angeles. It is for younger girls or older women who are trying act young.


    • tokyo5 April 30, 2009 at 2:07 am #

      I guess that’s why they’re called “Forever 21“. 🙂


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