Forever 21 Rebrands With an Inclusive Love Letter to LA Culture

news | 05.13.22

Forever 21 Rebrands With an Inclusive Love Letter to LA Culture

Directed by PHAM and John Merizalde

The brand shifts its strategy in an effort to forge a relationship with Gen Z

The spot is a love letter to L.A., celebrating the energy of the city and the people who inspire its vibrant culture.

As the retail space continues to evolve, more brands are diversifying their marketing strategies, and clothing brand Forever 21 is riding the wave with a forward-looking rebrand that also revisits its roots.

Forever 21 launched its first-ever brand campaign designed to emphasize where it got its start in Los Angeles and its evolution as a clothing brand. The rebrand will share L.A.’s multicultural ethos across the country with a more focused and inclusive marketing approach in the hopes of expanding the brand’s platforms through the campaign, from ecommerce and retail to social media and its first foray into the metaverse with a virtual store.

As part of the campaign, Forever 21 released a two-minute spot titled “A Little L.A. in All of Us.” The spot is a love letter to L.A., celebrating the energy of the city and the people who drive its vibrant culture. Directed by L.A. native directors PHAM and John Merizalde, the campaign is inspired by the different lifestyles found in L.A. neighborhoods, with the modified brand logo highlighting six distinct parts of the city: Downtown L.A., Koreatown, East L.A., Malibu, Hollywood and Venice. The work also spotlights cultural creators such as China Anne McClain and Madison Pettis across TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, reflecting each person’s unique style.

Forever 21

“Our birthplace is the inspiration and muse for our sense of style. From the beaches of Malibu to the skate parks of Venice to the streets of Downtown L.A. and the lights of Hollywood, Los Angeles is the ultimate destination for tourists, immigrants and culture. L.A. is truly multicultural and a center of innovation for music, cinema, the arts and fashion,” Winnie Park, CEO at Forever 21, told Adweek. “This shift in our strategy signals our move from fast-fashion to omnichannel brand relevance with a focus on Gen Z, who are not just digital natives but social natives as content creators and pioneers in social commerce and the metaverse.”

To execute the campaign, Forever 21 partnered with The Salon, Campbell Ewald’s newly formed cultural agency. The brand is partnering with Boys & Girls Club of America and Art Bridges The Gap to create four murals between Hollywood and Venice.

Refocusing, rebranding, reemerging

Despite Forever 21 filling for bankruptcy in September 2019, Park is taking this new initiative as a chance to not only bounce back but also focus on more genuine consumer relationships. As the rapidly changing—and challenging—retail space has left the brand in a challenging spot following 178 U.S. stores closing (350 globally), the brand hopes the new direction reignites its long-standing connection with loyal consumers and catches the interest of Gen Z.

See the full article on AdWeek.