Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Sh*tstorm: Forever21's new Love21 Maternity Line

Quick post here this afternoon ladies.  It's balmy in SoCal and I'm taking a little break from Chef's latest cooking adventures - where I've aptly and proudly been named Sous Chef (she says as she brims with pride) - to bring you a breaking news update.

Looks like Forever21 has a bit of its own aggravated mayhem to deal with.  I was watching HLN Prime News with Mike Galanos who just did a piece on Forever21's new Love21 Maternity Line.  Apparently the line has caused some waves out there beyond the internets because of what some are claiming is an irresponsible message being sent to the brand's teen customers.  Love21 Maternity has launched in Arizona, Alaska, California, Texas and Utah, with Arizona, California and Texas being ranked amongst the states with the highest teen pregnancy rates.  Market research or coincidence?

Silk-Chiffon Foliage Maternity Top

Now I don't know about you, but Teen Mom is one of my absolute favorite shows (guilty admission).  I'm so caught up in Macie, Amber and Catelynn/Tyler's stories (forget Farrah who should be standing in the corner for eternity - sorry haters you know I'm right - so over her. yawwwn.  but i just neeeed to know - is her mother in the clanker?!?) that I beamed with delight when the new season started last week.  When I first started watching last season I was just sick over the whole thing.  It's heartbreaking!  I got so caught up I actually considered contacting Catelynn and Tyler and asking them if they wanted to live with me and go to college out here.  No jokes.  Then the Chef told me to snap out of it and the season ended so I did. wah.  Now, Of course I am certainly not condoning teen pregnancy and I don't like that MTV and that sicko Dr. Drew are capitalizing on their circumstances, however I do like that there is a very accurate portrayal of how excruciatingly difficult it is to deal with teen pregnancy and its aftermath.

Longline Sslv Maternity Cardigan

And back to Love21 Maternity - the first top pictured above is something I would wear for summer currently - and I am nowhere NEAR pregnant.  In fact, it looks like it could rival one of Nicole Richie's pieces from her Winter Kate line, which I love and adore, seen here, here and here(Maybe I should be doing a this or that post!  Guess I kinda just did.)  I actually do own a version of the second top and love it.  So all in all - can we blame a corporation for doing its research and meeting the needs of its customer base?  Further, isn't it a bit juvenile (no pun intended) to claim that Forever21 is encouraging or glamorizing teen pregnancy when teen pregnancy has been here long before Love21's maternity line?  I mean this is not a chicken or the egg type situation, after all.  And beyond all that is the sheer fact that Forever21 is not just for teens now, is it?  I mean I am 22 or something and I still stroll through there now and then for a find...

What are your thoughts surrounding the Love21 debate?  I know a lot of you find incredible deals there and immediately thought of you when I heard this (while taking my ten minute California state mandated break from assisting the Chef - slavedriver).  Would you consider a piece or two of this line even in your pre-pregnancy form if the designs were cute and, of course, form flattering?  And, more importantly, what do you think about the cluster and fluster this seems to have stirred up?

I'm thinking it's going to result in another win for the brand!  And for all the cute pregnant ladies who have limited places to find affordable and fun fashions...whether they are pre or post age 21.



Anna Jane said...

hmmm....that is pretty interesting. I'm not surprised as F21 is pretty smart on their marketing and clothing lines. I'm not totally against it because when I eventually have kids, I'd like some options besides for Pea in the Pod and 7 maternity jeans.

I like Teen Mom too...there! I said it!

anna jane

this free bird said...

Amen sister!! I'm right there with you! I can't imagine 9 months in 7's. No can-do.

Julie (brown eyed belle) said...

I have a cardigan much like the one in the second picture and I love it! I didn't get it from a maternity line either, lol. I have a friend who bought a dress in the maternity section at Target the other day because it was cute and flattering- she's not preggers.

I had heard about this F21 drama a few days ago. I think it could be marketing, for sure, but I'm with you, it's not just teens that shop at F21. I'm 23 and I love some of their stuff.

I'll be interested to see how this all plays out in the media.

Enjoy playing sous-chef!!

Debby said...

I think that women older than 21 would buy those clothes for sure.
I like Teen Mom as well. I felt bad for Catelyn this past week. So alone and no place of her own. She doesn't deserve that. I hope she and Tyler work it out. Can't wait to see them reunited with their daughter. aren't the only one obsessed.

The Zhush said...

I think this would be a great shopping site for "non teen" pregnant ladies...and guilty for watching teen mom as well...but honestly, don't you think that show is doing such a great job of showing the harsh reality of how hard raising a baby can be? I think its a brilliant form of "birth control" would love to know if there are stats on this.

Lovely B. said...

I think it's great marketing strategy on Forever 21's part, but as long as they aren't advertising their maternity line in Seventeen Magazine, it's all good with me. And I'll admit it, reality tv and trashy "true-life" shows suck me in too.

shari @ little blue deer said...

That is really funny! That it would upset people, I mean, seriously? But honestly, who wants to spend a bunch of money on clothes they'll wear for 9 months, a Forever 21 line makes perfect sense to me. Have a great weekend! XO!

Josie said...

I think it's being blown out of proportion a bit -- I hardly think that Forever21 is trying to promote teen pregnancy. As far as I'm concerned, it's another maternity line -- and, better, a cheap one. You can only wear the clothes for so long!
xo Josie

Anonymous said...

It makes sense that a brand like F21 is capitalizing on maternity clothes. It's a good price point for clothes you won't be wearing too long.
(And I guess teenagers need maternity clothes too? Bad joke. But I do watch Teen Mom!)

Abby said...

I'm not sure how they're encouraging people to become teen moms. Just another maternity line with cute clothes.

alli/hooray said...

I've heard this - I'm glad to know there will be a place for cute + affordable maternity clothes if/when I need them in the future. And I totally agree that Forever 21 stores aren't just for 21 and under (at least I tell myself that!).

cindy said...

I think making this line available in Utah is just a way to throw off any criticism. Really? Utah? A preggo line??

That said, why not? If it sells, it's brilliant, if it doesn't, epic Fail. Either way, Forever 21 is tapping into another marketshare, and if nothing else, women that can't fit into their 'regular' sizes, could rock the 'maternity' lines.

Just sayin'.

MarchMusings said...

Teen pregnancy is going to be an issue whether brands bring out lines designed for maternity or not. And if the clothes are trendy and comfortable, why not?

Jammer said...

haha I can't believe they are going after F21 for this - I highly doubt a whole bunch of girls are going to go out and get preggers just b/c they want to wear F21's maternity line! They are completely distracting people from the real source of the problem by trying to use F21 as a scapegoat...I mean, they are a clothing company, right? You know, the kind that typically try to expand into different markets when things are going swell lol.

And, I have yet to watch a full episode of Teen Mom, but I'm not too far removed from high school, so I basically just got the live show - sad or funny?!? I say a little bit funny :)

Taylor said...

hi there!

i heard about this whole uproar over the forever 21 maternity line. i understand it, but that doesn't mean i agree with it...listen, I love to shop at all kinds of stores. For instance, Target: they have maternity clothes, too...what's wrong with that? I am sure other teens shop there as well. Forever 21, I understand, aims for a younger clientele, but is their plus size section supporting obesity? No. I think people should worry about more pressing matters such as the gulf spill!

this free bird said...

Hollar Taylor!! (and everyone else)

Couldn't agree with you more.

And we could say the same thing about MTV - I mean even though they are showing the rigors of teen pregnancy they are also, in a sense, glamorizing it by allowing the first season girls in repeat seasons. I'm happy they are continuing the storyline because I really liked it and the girls involved and the true difficulty it portrays, but I was concerned about the message it sent originally: get pregnant and you, too, can get on MTV. The next group didn't have repeat appearances - it was one each and I appreciated that more.

ANYWAY - I guess I better stay out of Target and F21 or I might get pregnant? uh yeah, no.

You're right. It's much ado about nothing. Or at least nothing really. :)

Connie @ SogniESorrisi said...

I think affordable, cute maternity clothes are a good thing. The suggestion that everyone who shops at F21 is 21 and under is laughable.

Erica said...

Thing is, all the extra media attention just acts as free advertising for Forever 21.

And as sad as it is, teen pregnancy, or being a young single mother, is much more accepted than in previous generations. Now, it's almost like something to be proud of in some circles.

That being said, a lot of younger women in their 20's shop at Forever 21...and maternity clothes are usually VERY expensive. I remember when my mom was pregnant with my sister, she lamented about spending $80 on a pair of jeans to wear for 8 months. So in the sense that it brings more affordable clothing to young mothers (and since Forever 21 is almost disposable anyways!) it's a good thing.

Classy and Delicious

jemina said...

Congrats darling!!! a sous chef!!! you must be proud of yourself :)), and I love F21, and I'm in my 30's :)), I think F21 appeals to lots of ladies at any age :)), have a marvellous monday darling, XOXO

Jessica said...

Maybe I'm completely cynical, but good for F21 for doing their research. F21 is a company with a mission to turn a profit - they're not the ones to be part of some moral debate. Perhaps the naysayers should focus on the real problem: teens getting knocked up.

But I think this line is going to be divine for 20-somethings. Whenever I decide to have kids, I'd rather not shell out big bucks for clothes I won't wear again a few months later!

And now I'm going back to my a.m. coffee to chipper up!

DT ~ RDH said... teens shop there, but doesn't the name itself imply that its target group of shoppers might be trying to 21? as in at least 21? I agree that no amount of advertising would've had enticed me into wanting a baby in my teens. It all goes back to parents being realistic about teen sex and educating their kids (as well as thinking long and hard about providing birth control, despite preferring that their kids would abstain!)

I too love Teen Mom, and Catelyn is my fave ~ poor girl! Based on the previews, it's not lookin so good between her and Tyler! :/ And yes, Farrah and her mom (and silent, crying dad whom she refers to by his first name...) are very off in my opinion. Turning the lights out on Sofia after asking her if she could "see herself" while she cried was a little disturbing. Sofia is all of 1? As a mommy, I can say that toddlerhood and childhood require a lot more engagement and attention than babyhood so Farrah is in for a lot of frustration if she just wants to be unbothered!

Krystal said...

Oh my gosh, I'm totally down with this! You're right, it's not a big deal that they did research and are's kind of smart! I doubt teens are sitting around being like "OMG F21 HAS A TEEN PREGO LINE I'M GETTING PREGNANT NOW!!!!" geeeeese louise haters, think about things before you criticize them. oh my. and yes, i would like that first little cardigan!

Sarah said...

Give the people what they want. Who can blame Forever 21 for doing market research. Is it their fault that the teen pregnancy rates are high? No. Of course not! And these girls will want affordable cute maternity clothes, so... what's the problem? Also, this is good for grown-ass women who want affordable, cute maternity clothes!

Amie said...

Seriously - this is just silly. I shopped at Forever 21 when I was younger, but as a young adult trying to survive in the world and STILL wear somewhat cute clothes, I shop here more now. Actually, probably 75% of my clothes now are from Forever 21, and I'm almost 24.

I think it's crazy that they are turning it around like this - if a company that tailors to numerous groups of consumers wants to widen their brand to the pregnant woman, I say more power to them! I don't think it's encouraging pregnancy in teens, and it's annoying that anyone would say that. lame!

Emily said...

My and my sister were talking about this earlier. I think we concluded that Forever 21 is capitalizing on a market. It's smart from a business standpoint. Morally? It's a toss up! I know my 30 year old cousin would have been glad to hear of an F21 line when she was pregnant BUT a 19 year old former classmate of mine probably would have, too...

Yeah, and Teen Mom is the best birth control available! It proves that there is nothing cute and fun about being a Teen Mom. IT'S HARD!



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