• Sun, Jul 11 2010

Forever 21 Launches Maternity Line In States With High Teen Pregnancy Rates

Forever 21 is launching a new line of maternity gear, love21maternity. But don’t get too excited – currently, the line is available in five states: Arizona, Alaska, California, Utah, and Texas. Why those places? It could be random. But it is interesting to note that three of those five states – Arizona, California, and Texas – are on the list of states with the highest percentages of teen pregnancy in the country. Coincidence? Or brilliant marketing to their existing customer base (young women) while also addressing the fact that some of them are going to need clothes with slightly more room in the midsection? And can somebody from MTV work on a deal to promote the line via the girls on the next season of 16 and Pregnant?

And now there’s more: you can view some of the line’s new ads, which feature very young-looking models.

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  • Julia

    I blogged about this last week http://www.fortyweeks.com/content/gag-me-oh-no-wait-i-am-already-sick/ and could not agree with you more – - this is an amazing breach of trust between the tweeny customer and brand….not a coinsidence – more likely some young marketing child’s (likely senior level is 24 at Forever 21) inspired strategy to hold on to their easy influenced customer. And your suggestion, MTV – yes, yes yes but don’t leave out the mriad of other teen pregnancy fahsion seeding opporutnities – the list keeps growing!

  • Erin Lopez

    I’ve been a loyal customer of Forever 21 since I was 20. Despite what’s displayed on their advert campaigns, they have continued to grow their looks and collections as part of their customer base has grown-up as evidenced by Love 21, which originally was the name of their ” contemporary” (i.e. more mature) line. The line regularly features older (by tween standards a 24 year old is ancient) models wearing clothes with a more polished look.

    Last week I noticed several people my age (late 20′s, early 30′s), who were shopping there while on their lunch break. The woman who rang me up was the manager. She was also my age and expecting. If I was expecting, I’d shop at their maternity label because they have brand equity with me.

    To my mind, the fact that Forever 21 is opening Love 21 stores in three of the 10 states with the highest teen pregnancy rates doesn’t necessarily mean that they are honing in on the teen pregnancy market (though as a marketer, I’m sure they consider it an added business benefit). In fact, it blatantly ignores the fact that these states represent varied target markets, making them fantastic test markets for any business. And believe it or not, there is much more money to be found in clothing women in the late 20 to 30 year old age bracket who possess a partner/husband, a job, and therefore, disposable income.

    And no, I don’t work for Forever 21.

  • Adam

    Why exactly is this a big deal? Up until only VERY recently, women were having children as a NORM at 15, 16, 17. Not only that, but there are a great deal of women who get pregnant, either by choice or accident, between 15-21. Just because a company decides to market to a group of people who ALREADY exist, doesn’t mean they are saying “Go get pregnant so you can wear these clothes.”

    God Americans are getting obscenely stupid, and yes, I’m American, and it embarrasses me.

    • Lauren

      Yes, you are obscenely stupid for calling all Americans obscenely stupid for having an opinion that’s different than you. And, for using reasoning that is entirely outdated. In most peoples lives, VERY recently means within their lifespan. For 15 year olds getting pregnant today, your NORM for getting pregnant is not very recent.
      People used to get married young and have babies young because they only lived until they were 50. People live into their 90s now. That’s almost double. If 15 years olds were the norm then, 30 years old should be the norm NOW. and no self respecting 30 year old is going to shop for these clothes.

  • shadowL

    I have to agree with Erin. the population is already there. Marketing maternity clothes to teens will not make them go out an have sex any more than comprehensive sex education will. WAIT studies have SHOWN that comprehensive sex ed results in LOWER teen pregnancy rates than Abstinence only sex ed.

    It looks a lot like the reverse is happening here. teens get pregnant and a store markets products for them. You wouldn’t accuse Lane Bryant of pandering to unwed mothers if they produced a maternity line would you?

    • Lauren

      Perhaps a better analogy would be “You wouldn’t accuse Lane Bryant of endorsing people to gain weight.”

      In another thought, society is getting more and more selfish and irresponsible. Which in turn makes people angrier. So, lets all get together and have an angry party where we can get angrier. ???

      It’s lax attitudes and irresponsibility that’s directing us into a downward spiral. Opening a new clothing line that markets towards young pregnant women shows that it’s okay to get pregnant young. It’s not going to be a direct correlation, but it will sit in the subconscious mind, and people will act on it. It’s allowing girls to think it’s okay, when they have no idea what they’re getting into.