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As Forever 21 Files For Bankruptcy, Some People Believe The Company Got What They Deserved

On Sunday, millennial fast-fashion giant Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy, causing a stir among shoppers who have long relied on the store for cheap and fashionable clothing. The move comes at a time when brick-and-mortar retail businesses everywhere are struggling and the bankruptcy is just proof of the shifting ways people shop.

Forever 21 was founded in 1984 in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles and quickly became the go-to spot young women went to for trendy items at affordable prices. Forever 21 spearheaded the wave of giant “fast fashion” retailers like Zara and H&M. These retailers revolutionized the fashion industry by making apparel that was previously only available to fashion insiders available to middle-class women. The shop was a staple at virtually every suburban mall. 

But with the ubiquity of the internet, young customers no longer went to the mall for a dose of retail therapy–they went online. 

According to Forever 21, the chain will likely be closing 178 stores in the near future and will exit completely from Asian and European markets. Countless articles have been written about the rise of fashion-forward online retailers like ASOS and Fashion Nova and the subsequent decline of brick-and-mortar stores like Forever 21. It’s also worth mentioning that e-commerce giant Amazon has now entered the fray as a viable place for young women to buy clothes online. In other words, the competition is fierce. Forever 21 isn’t the only fast-fashion store that has faced problems in recent years: in 2015, popular retailer Deb shut its doors permanently, followed by Wet Seal in 2017.

While the popular retail chain is beloved by many young women on a budget, not everyone is mourning the loss of these locations. 

Along with the Forever 21’s immense popularity and success has come waves of criticism–much of which has come to a head in recent years. The rise of social media has given a voice and a platform to previously voiceless critics who viewed Forever 21 as a major problem. In recent years, Forever 21 has fought off scandals involving unethical labor practices, problematic and offensive designs, and recently, an incident involving the company giving diet bar samples to plus-size customers. 

Not to mention, Forever 21 part of the major environmental problems that clothing retailers are creating for the planet. Some studies indicate that the apparel industry accounts for over 8% of the “global climate impact” of carbon emissions. That is “greater than all international airline flights and maritime shipping trips combined”. For many people, Forever 21 was emblematic of face-less soul-less corporations that manipulate unknowing customers for cash and wreak havoc on the ecosystem while they’re doing it. For some people, Forever 21’s bankruptcy feels like just desserts.

Along with other early 2000s-era fashion giants (like Victoria’s Secret), it’s been hard for Forever 21 to keep with the times. 

Many people believe that Forever 21 will have to completely overhaul their approach to marketing if they want to retain old customers while building a new client base. As the tides change, millennial and Gen-Z consumers are no longer want to give money to ethically dubious and environmentally irresponsible organizations. These days, young people prefer the companies they frequent to promote messages they believe in, like sustainability, body-positivity, and inclusivity. In an era when wokeness is a social currency, companies that promote a social agenda–like Third Love and Madewell–have become popular.

As for consumers’ reactions to Forever 21 filing for bankruptcy, Twitter provides a peek into everyone’s thoughts on the matter.

As is expected, the reactions run the spectrum to sadness at their favorite store being closed, to elation at the shuttering of a controversial retailer. With any polarizing landmark in pop culture comes a lot of people ready to voice their opinions.

This woman was sad that her go-to store for cheap staples is going out of business:

Forever 21 practically invented the term “ballin’ on a budget”. Now, it’s going to be harder for lower-income women to dress themselves fashionably in the same manner as before. 

This Twitter user made a decent point about Forever 21’s hit-or-miss clothes:

We’ve all been browsing the racks of Forever 21 and thought to ourselves: who greenlit this design?

This plus-sized Twitter user has mixed feelings about Forever 21’s bankruptcy filing:

It’s true that (for good or bad) Forever 21 has been at the forefront of industry changes–like paying more attention to plus-sized customers, for one. Even if they’ve had some very public missteps. 

12 Make Up Tips For Darker Skin Tones To Make Sure You Get The Most Out Of Your Makeup Money

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12 Make Up Tips For Darker Skin Tones To Make Sure You Get The Most Out Of Your Makeup Money

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Whether you are just starting to experiment with makeup or have already picked up plenty of looks from your favorite tía, telenovela star or singer, here are a few tips for working with makeup with darker skin tones.

1. Don’t Skip UV Protection:

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Your skin is beautiful with or without a tan. However, it is important to use UV protection even if you are dark. When planning for a day in the sun, add a bit of sunscreen, or at least a foundation and lip balm that offer UV protection to your look. Not only will a little sunscreen protect you from dangerous skin cancer, but it will also keep your skin looking younger as you age.

2. Develop A Solid Routine:

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Dark skin has plenty of variety and reacts differently to various climates. Whether you need to moisturize on a regular basis or deal with excess oil, a good routine can help you avoid breakouts. And, of course, always remember to take your makeup off before going to bed no matter how tired you feel. Your skin will thank you.

3. Mind the Undertones:

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Your skin may have yellow, olive, or even reddish undertones. Understanding your undertones can help you select colors to either bring these out or keep them hidden.

4. Moisturizer Is Key:

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Dark skin can get ashy when it’s dry. This can be embarrassing especially if you live in a climate that you’re your skin doesn’t like because everyone will know when you need to moisturize.

5. Match Your Makeup To Your Personal Style:

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Makeup can definitely be used to express your style and your individuality. If you love bright colors, you can certainly translate that into your night time, and even daytime, look.

6. Find the Right Shades:

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Finding the shades of foundation and even eyeshadow that compliment your skin tone can be a bit of a journey. Fortunately, once you find what works, you can use that as your framework for future looks.

7. Play With Foundation:

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If you are blessed with clear skin, you may skimp on, or even skip foundation all together for certain daytime looks. On the other hand, you can also use foundation and powder to play up different parts of your face. Most experts recommend using a foundation that is two shades lighter than your natural skin tone.

8. Do Some Research:

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If you’re trying out something new, or if you’ve generally had trouble with matching makeup to your skin tone- you’re in luck; there are several YouTube and Instagram influencers who specifically work with darker skin tones and offer tutorials. You can also ask a friend for help.

9. Make The Most Out Of Your Concealer:

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While concealer is traditionally used to hide skin blemishes, it can also help make your eyes pop. Simply apply your favorite concealer under your eyes and to your eyebrows in a triangle

10. Makeup After Contact Lenses:

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This tip is universal but worth noting regardless of whether you are using contact lenses to help correct your vision or are opting for color contacts to make your eyes pop for a special occasion. Putting on your contacts last minute will inevitably lead to running makeup- and possibly even mascara smudged contact lenses.

11. Balance Your Eyes And Lips:

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Having both eye and lips pop can be overwhelming, which is why makeup artists focusing on one or the other. That doesn’t mean that your eyes can’t look stunning if you’re wearing a red or purple lipstick, but having your eyes pink at the same time, can be a bit too much at best, and may leave you looking like a clown at worst. To make sure you aren’t overdoing it, stick to accentuating either your eyes or your lips- especially if you are a beginner.

Black And Afro-Latino Businesses You Can Support To Financially Uplift The Communities

Things That Matter

Black And Afro-Latino Businesses You Can Support To Financially Uplift The Communities

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Black and Afro-Latino businesses are crucial to the growth of wealth within their communities. Latinas are the fastest-growing population of entrepreneurs. Here is a list of Black and Afro-Latino businesses you can support to help build them up.

Cafe Con Libros

Cafe Con Libros is a feminist bookstore and coffee shop serving the Brooklyn area with conversations about things that matter to the community. Though they are closed because of COVID-19, there are several ways you can continue to support the bookstore.

Azteca Negra

Azteca Negra is a textile, jewelry, and accessories line that is all about being culturally conscious. Marisol Catchings, the artist behind Azteca Negra, is a Black/Chicana artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Catchings also aims at recycling by reusing resources to create her products.

Kimpande Jewelry

Kimpande Jewelry is telling the history of African life and people in Puerto Rico. Eduardo Paz, the designer of the products, wanted to highlight the different African cultures brought to Puerto Rico during the slave trade. The brand is all about buying a piece of history with every piece of jewelry.

Marisel Herbal Bath & Body

Based in Puerto Rico, Marisel Herbal Bath & Body is giving people herbal and natural alternatives to the bath and body products on the market. The store, which has been dealing with the COVID-19 lockdowns, is slowly coming back to life and is offering to ship orders to customers.

Ankhari Crochet

There is something so fun about crochet. It might be that it makes us think about the vintage clothing that we have seen in our parents’ photos. It is fun, stylish, and the colors really giving us some life right now.

Ashanti Headwraps

If you are looking for some new and fun headwraps, this is the place to check out. The brand has stores in Puerto Rico and New York and the stores offer up some beautifully crafted headwraps that anyone can wear.

Pensar Africa

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Fatima – in traceable, ethically made Swag 😷😍💚 . . . Matching mask, Fanny pack and Headwrap available by custom order. DM for more information ℹ️ . . Prevention is better than cure 🦠 😷 . . Local Puerto Rican designer Sanel @disenador_sanelrivera and Pensar Africa have worked together to produced these beautiful masks to protect yourself and others from the spread of Corona Virus – best protection and prevention is to observe social distancing by staying at home but if you need to go out CDC recommends wearing a mask with two layers of tightly woven 100 percent cotton fabric. . . We have created these beautiful reversible, washable mask using high tread count pure Tanzanian 🇹🇿 cotton fabric with pellon interfacing in between for a filter. It also has a pocket to add additional filter if you choose to do so. . . Limited quantity and available in San Juan for drive through pickup only and shipped worldwide 🌍 🌎 . These masks have been disinfected, aired out, packed and ready to go. . . Fanny pack in collaboration with @jashbags . . #facetimephotoshoot with @jorlyfloress #Teamwork #togetherwecan #socialdistancing #coronavirus #protection #protectionisbetterthancure #cdcrecommendation #wearamask #stayathome #coronachronicles #protectivestyles #pensarafrica #sanelriveradiseñador #mask #facemask #santurce #sanjuan #sanjuanpuertorico #puertorico #africanprint #africanfabric #kitenge #ankaramask #africanprintmasks #afroboricua #afrolatina

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Pensar Africa is more than a place to buy things, it is a place to empower African creators. According to the website, Pensar Africa’s mission is to bring African goods to the Americas while providing the creators the opportunity to make money off of their products.

The Salvi Vegan

This food blogger is showing how you can take your favorite Salvadoran dishes and make them vegan. It is a nice reminder that not all support has to cost something. Some times you just have to show support to help those in the community attract opportunities that come with money.

Party Shop Avenue

This is one company we should keep in mind after this is all over. Who doesn’t want a nice balloon structure at their party? These are truly some beautiful pieces of art that you can use to celebrate just about anything.

READ: This Boricua Is Bringing An Indie Bookstore To Her Neighborhood Of 1.4 Million