Rise and fall of Forever 21

A shopping bag (below) stamped with "John 3:16", a reference to a Bible verse, an example of how the family's Christian faith played a role in their running of the company. Forever 21 founder Chang Do Won with his daughters Linda (far left) and Esthe
Forever 21 founder Chang Do Won with his daughters Linda (left) and Esther, both executives at the company, at a store in California in 2010. PHOTO: NYTIMES
Shoppers at a Forever 21 store in a Pennsylvania mall last month. The company is closing up to 199 of its stores in the US. PHOTO: REUTERS
Shoppers at a Forever 21 store in a Pennsylvania mall last month. The company is closing up to 199 of its stores in the US. PHOTO: REUTERS
A shopping bag (below) stamped with "John 3:16", a reference to a Bible verse, an example of how the family's Christian faith played a role in their running of the company. Forever 21 founder Chang Do Won with his daughters Linda (far left) and Esthe
A shopping bag (above) stamped with "John 3:16", a reference to a Bible verse, an example of how the family's Christian faith played a role in their running of the company.PHOTO: NYTIMES

Fast-fashion chain founded by couple collapses due to insular management style: Observers

NEW YORK • When Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy last month, the fast-fashion chain described its history in documents that read, at times, like a pitch for a memoir or a Netflix special.

Photos of the company's husband-and-wife founders, Mr Chang Do Won and Mrs Chang Jin Sook, and their two daughters appeared under headings like "Forever striving: A story of grit, determination and passion".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2019, with the headline 'Rise and fall of Forever 21'. Print Edition | Subscribe