Fierce

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. 

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In The First Episode Of FIERCE’s ‘Money Moves,’ We Explore The All-Important Budget

Fierce

In The First Episode Of FIERCE’s ‘Money Moves,’ We Explore The All-Important Budget

mitú

Finances can be hard. A lot of us were never told how to properly budget because our families weren’t equipped. Fortunately, in the 21st century, we can connect electronically with other Latinos and Latinas who are making money moves. In the first episode of FIERCE’s “Money Moves,” we talked with Beatriz Acevedo, CEO and founder of We Are Suma, a new financial literacy media company.

We Are Suma is a new company that wants to teach you how to make the most of your money.

Financial literacy is so important in creating generational wealth. It is an important step to being financially comfortable. CEO and founder of We Are Suma Beatriz Acevedo wants to help all Latinos and Latinas reach their financial goals. The most important place to start is creating a good and manageable budget. We sat down and spoke with her about what to do to make that happen. Here are some of her insights.

Sam: What would you recommend in terms of knowing what I need to get financially fit?

Beatriz Acevedo: Well, listen. Because we are here in a group of Latinas, like I said earlier, there’s certainly a lot of particularly incredible, amazing Latinas that do these seminars and these course. I have made my list of the ones that we already work with and really love. One that we have as our Latina in residence right now giving us a lot of this coaching is Jen Hemphill and she has a podcast called ‘Her Dinero Matters.’ So constantly, if you follow them, they have their social media, they have the things that they do. We mentioned Julie from Investing Latina that you guys will have on. Also, she does these seminars where they are made for our community. It just doesn’t feel as dry as when you read content or you go to a class and are like, ‘Oh my god. I feel so out of place here with the words that they are using the expectation that i already know this.’ No. This if for our community by our community. Latina Money. We’ve done some collaborations with her as well for equal pay. She’s awesome. Snowball Wealth. If you have student debt, they definitely specialize. Dana is your girl who specializes in how can you lower that. How can you start paying off your student debt?

All these are amazing Latinas that want to support our community and what they do every day is that. Obviously for us at We Are Suma, we do it in a very fun pop culture kind of way as well. So, five years ago if you asked me this question, I’d be like, ‘I don’t know.’ Today, there are so many resources and just with the ones that I mentioned that you guys can find right here on Instagram.

All of those resources are great. They’re easy to understand and again they’re made my women in our community so they understand where we came from and they understand that we did not have those conversations growing up, that we’re going to need to catch up.

S: What should they take a look at when creating a budget? Is it kind of like consolidating everything that they have and writing down a list?

BA: It’s a very easy thing to do nowadays. I remember when my dad would always tell my mom, ‘¿Donde esta el presupuesto?’ He knew that el presupuesto was very important because my mom and I are enthusiasts of la Marshalls y la Ross. Like, ‘Look, it’s only $9.99.” But, then, they can add up. So, I remember her so vividly in the kitchen, the poor woman, doing these budgets for my dad or for the household in these yellow pads. She was like, Food and this and Gas and all of this other stuff and adding it up. Nowadays, it’s so easy. there are so many apps that you can use. Even from the resources from all of these other Latinas that I mentioned earlier, some of them have these.

I know Snowball has one of these and I’m sure most of them do. It’s free tools where you can go in and you plug in and it helps you to track all of your expenses. There’s also very sophisticated apps that I like to use and it is the preference of people that very easily let you see how much do you make. It’s very important to know how much you make. You make a budget for $10,000 and you make $5,000, that’s not gong to work out, even if you have a beautiful budget.

S: Could you share some of the apps that you personally use or that you would recommend?

BA: Mint is the most popular one from all of the surveys. People really love it. I’ve never used Mint personally, but it must be great because people love it, and is the overall best one. I use PocketGuard. I don’t know how I discovered it or why, but I like it and that keeps you from overspending. It’s almost like, ‘Oh, you’ve reached this. Or you’re spending $5 more this month than you spent this month. It is always sort of alerting you. I’m sure all of them alert you if you are going over the budget that you have.

There’s one that people love that I just learned about that’s called You Need A Budget. That’s the one that people say is for the Type A personality so I need to look into that. It is on this principle of zero-based budgeting, which means that you give a job to every cent that you make. You don’t leave anything up to chance. Even if you are going to put something into retirement or to invest. You make $10 and your budget is at $10. It’s depleted so there is never anything left either under or over that could be a great area. A lot of people really like this You Need A Budget app that I still have to check out.

We were also talking about the envelope method. I learned about that a long time ago in my previous life when I was a tv producer. We were doing this show for Discovery channel where we would go into Latinos homes that needed almost a financial intervention because they were in bankruptcy. They had a mess with their finances. You would walk into their houses and they would have the most unbelievable TVs, VR sets before VR was popular. You’re like, ‘Oh my god. What are you doing, dude?’ I remember that our financial adviser at the time told the woman like, ‘Señora, you’ve got to cut off your credit cards.’ The woman was crying cutting up her credit cards but she had maxed out so many credit cards buying clothing for the daughter. The guy had bought all of these electronics. It was crazy. Then I remember that it seemed pretty prehistoric, right, because I was, ‘Really? You’re going to go put money into an envelope?’… I was reading that there is one called Mvelopes and that sort of mimics that but in the digital world.

Make sure you watch the full interview below for all of Acevedo’s tips to growing your wealth.

Make 2021 the year to become financially fit! You have the power to dictate what happens with your finances.

READ: Do You Combine Finances With Your Spouse? Latinas Answered!

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Fans Think This Photo Of Barbie Is Proof She’s An Out And Proud Lesbian

Entertainment

Fans Think This Photo Of Barbie Is Proof She’s An Out And Proud Lesbian

Mattel/ Instagram

The fact that the early days of Barbie were not quite so inclusive to all of us comes as no surprise. The blonde, impossibly figured doll with a penchant for similar-looking friends is a far cry away from the Barbie of today who has friends of all shapes, races, sizes, sexual identities, and abilities. Even better, today’s Barbie crew includes dolls who give queer children a broader playgound for their imagination.

Recently, Barbie has added a new addition to her friend group whose bringing more power to her LGTBQ fans.

Social media has dubbed the LGBTQ positive Aimee Song doll Barbie‘s girlfriend.

Twitter’s latest excitement is about a theory that Barbie and Aimee Song are dating. Photos of Mattel’s doll Aimee Song doll show her wearing a “Love Wins” T-shirt that supports LGBTQ+ rights. The Mattel doll was inspired by fashion blogger Aimee Song and recently caught renewed attention in a viral post shared to Twitter.

The “Love Wins” photos are only now going viral but were actually released in November 2017.

The photos of Barbie and the Aimee doll were shared to Twitter last Monday by user @kissevermore and now has Twitter debating whether the two are dating.

The pictures of Barbie and Aimee show the two dolls eating avocado toast. petting a dog, and smiling at each other. The images have fans questioning when Barbie came out and how she managed to nail a hot girlfriend before they did.

Even REAL Aimee Song weighed in on the images to confirm the relationship.

“I am the girlfriend,” she tweeted with a photo of herself and the Aimee Song doll. 

While Mattel has yet to officially identify Barbie as a lesbian, the original Instagram posts related to the Love Wins Barbies are proof that she is at least an ally.

Confirmed or not, true or not, one of the best parts of Barbie is that she is meant to be whoever her fans want her to be.

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