Last night, after months and months of anticipation, I finally got to shop up a storm at the media launch Forever 21, the US fashion mega-chain that’s finally opening this Saturday in Canal Walk.
Judging by all the questions that were fired at me via twitter and Instagram last night, there are things you girls want to know, so let’s jump right in with the big three.
So, just what exactly is in store?
Lots and lots of lekker ladies clothing, accessories, undies, swimwear, gymwear and shoes. Forever 21 do have a line for men, but it’s not available in SA. Neither is their plus size collection.
You should also know that the store is massive. Like huuuuge. Setting foot inside is like stepping into a Twilight Zone o’ Awesome in that you’ll easily lose an hour of your life before stumbling out with a mountain of yellow bags, muttering things like ‘Maybe I should’ve taken the silver one too…’ and ‘Who cares if I can’t buy groceries this week. These pretty li’l handsakkies are forever…’
The question on everybody’s lips – what are the prices like?
I was very flattered to be asked to get a pre-launch preview of a selection of clothes before the launch to create an outfit to show off on my blog. Sadly, this invite came at a time when I was almost paralysed by work so I wasn’t able to take the PRs up on it. Still, I envy-stalked the other girls who had and got super nervy when I looked at the prices some had listed on their blogs. R600 for a pair of shorts? R250 for a hat?
For those who don’t know, Forever21 is the Mr Price of America. If you shop their US store online as I’ve done in the past, you’ll know you can snap up a necklace for a dollar and a pair of jeans for seven. Their stuff is cheap as chips. So, like I said, when I saw those initial price points, I was super disappointed.
However, once I got in store, I quickly realised that yes, they do have a few things that I feel cost more than they’re worth but, for the most part, its bargains freakin’ galore, baby! We’re talking jeans for R150… cute li’l bracelets for R15 (!) and flirty summer dresses for R170. Quality-wise, I’d describe the brand as being superior to Mr P and mostly on par with Cotton On.
In short, I now could never visit Canal Walk without making the store my number one stop and I don’t see myself ever leaving without making a purchase or three. I must’ve spent a good twenty minutes in just the accessory section alone! Also, as their stuff is pretty current (i.e. not last season’s stock), when it comes to the more expensive items, you could always compare the price of what’s here with what’s in their online store and snap up whatever costs less via the latter.
When does it open in Jozi?
Honestly, I really don’t know and it seems like neither does anyone else. At present, there aren’t any plans for a store to open anywhere else in South Africa but, if the Cape Town store turns out to be a pot of gold (and I’m sure it will), I’m quite sure they’d open up elsewhere. But ja, for now, us Slaapstadders have another reason besides our mountain for mense to want to come visit.
So, if you want to check out the store yourself, know that it officially opens to the public this Saturday and they’ll be giving away gifts to the first 300 shoppers so get there early ‘cos I expect it’ll be a total mal huis. Alternatively, give it a week for the hype to die down a little (remember the crazy queues when Burger King opened in town?) but then still make a point of going early. Much like everyone’s favourite 24-hour Woolies Engen on Orange street, this is one of those stores that’s always going to pump.