Forever 21 is a fashion retail chain that was founded in 1984 by Do Won Chang and Jin Sook Chang, a married couple who immigrated to the United States from South Korea. The company started as a small store called Fashion 21 in Los Angeles, California, and quickly gained a loyal customer base due to its affordable prices and trendy clothing options.
As the company grew in popularity, it expanded to multiple locations across the United States and eventually rebranded as Forever 21 in 2001. Today, the company has over 800 stores in 57 countries and is known for offering a wide range of fashion items for men, women, and children, including clothing, accessories, and beauty products.
In addition to its brick-and-mortar stores, Forever 21 also has a successful online presence, with an e-commerce website that allows customers to shop from anywhere in the world. The company is known for constantly updating its inventory with the latest fashion trends and collaborating with popular brands and celebrities on exclusive collections.
Forever 21 has had some notable achievements throughout its history. In 2015, the company became the first fashion retailer to reach $4 billion in sales in a single year. The company has also won numerous awards, including the National Retail Federation’s “Retailer of the Year” award in 2007 and the California Fashion Association’s “Brand of the Year” award in 2014.
Despite its popularity, Forever 21 has faced some controversy over the years, including accusations of copying the designs of smaller, independent designers and poor treatment of its workers. However, the company has made efforts to address these issues and has continued to thrive as a leading fashion retailer.
Famous Forever 21 trademarks
In order to protect its brand and reputation, Forever 21 has taken steps to register and protect its trademarks both in the United States and internationally. This includes registering trademarks for its company name and various logos, as well as actively enforcing its intellectual property rights through legal action against infringing parties. Let’s take a look at some of Forever 21’s most famous trademarks.
The most important trademark for a clothing brand is the name. This trademark was first registered in 1997 by F21 IPCO, LLC, and applies to:
- Retail store services featuring clothing and accessories, jewelry, handbags, wallets, cosmetics, and eyewear
- Men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, such as T-shirts, blouses, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, vests, sweaters, jackets, and coats
- Bracelets, charms, earrings, necklaces, and rings
- Book bags, shoulder bags, tote bags, travel bags, fanny packs, reusable shopping bags, backpacks, knapsacks, purses, cosmetic cases, toiletry and vanity cases, and clutches
- Eyeglasses, sunglasses, spectacles, optical frame, and optical lenses
- Bottoms as clothing, tops as clothing, and caps being headwear
- Online retail store services featuring virtual goods, namely clothing, footwear, headwear, and accessories in the nature of jewelry, sunglasses, handbags, bags and backpacks, belts, scarves, and gloves, all for use in online virtual worlds
- Downloadable virtual goods, namely computer programs featuring clothing, footwear, accessories, and cosmetics for use online in online virtual worlds
XXI by Forever 21 was a line of clothing and accessories that was sold by Forever 21. As a fashion retail chain known for its trendy and affordable styles, it was marketed as a more high-end line. Featuring more sophisticated and upscale designs compared to the main Forever 21 brand. It is no longer in operation, as Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and closed all of its stores in 2020. The trademark for XXI was filed in 2004 by F21 IPCO, LLC, and applies to:
- Handbags and wallets sold in the applicant’s stores which are located in retail shopping malls
- Men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and accessories, such as T-shirts, shirts, blouses, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, vests, sweaters, jackets, coats, shoes, gloves, and scarves
- Retail store services featuring women’s and teens’ clothing and accessories, jewelry, handbags, and wallets
Riley Rose was a retail chain that was owned by Forever 21. It was launched in 2017 and sold a variety of beauty, skincare, and wellness products, as well as accessories and home decor. The stores were designed to be Instagram-friendly, with a bright and colorful aesthetic, and the products were targeted toward a younger, millennial audience.
Riley Rose was intended to be a complementary brand to Forever 21, offering a wider range of products beyond clothing and accessories. However, the brand did not gain significant traction and was ultimately closed along with the rest of the Forever 21 stores in 2020, when the company filed for bankruptcy.
The Riley Rose trademark was first registered in 2021 and applies to:
- Online retail stores services featuring cosmetics, fashion accessories, beauty supplies, hair accessories, and gift items
- Retail store services featuring cosmetics, fashion accessories, beauty supplies, hair accessories, and gift items
- Beauty masks, blush, blush pencils, eye-shadow, eyeliner, fingernail decals, lip glosses, lipstick, lipstick cases, lotions for cosmetic purposes, mascara, nail polish, perfumes, artificial fingernails, cosmetic facial blotting papers, compacts, facial beauty masks, and non-medicated bath soap
- Eyelash curlers, nail clippers, nail files, tweezers, cuticle tweezers, hair-removing tweezers, and non-electric fingernail polishers
- Cosmetic bags, purses, wallets, and make-up bags
- Cosmetic brushes, eyebrow brushes, eyelash brushes, hair brushes, lip brushes, make-up brushes, and nail brushes
- Hair bands, hair clips, hair ornaments in the nature of hair wraps, hair pins, hair ribbons, hair scrunchies, clam clips for hair, and rubber bands for hair
- Cardboard, drawing paper, erasers, napkin paper, notebooks, notepads, paper, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, pictures, posters, stands for pen and pencil writing pads, appointment books, blank cards, blank lesson plan books, drawing rulers, notebooks, and note cards
F21 Red was a line of clothing and accessories that was sold by Forever 21. It was marketed as a more budget-friendly line, offering lower prices than the main Forever 21 brand. The products in the F21 Red line were typically basic and casual, and the brand was aimed at a younger, more price-conscious audience. It is not clear if F21 Red is still in operation, as Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and closed all of its stores in 2020.
The trademark for F21 Red was registered in 2014 and applies to:
- Retail store services featuring cosmetics, eyewear, sunglasses, jewelry, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, watches, accessories, shoes, handbags, clothing, pants, shirts, jackets, skirts, dresses, sweaters, hats, gowns, scarfs, belts, robes, pajamas, vests, tube tops, tank tops, corsets, bras, underwear, and shawls
Read more: You can use a name that includes a color, but… can you trademark a color?
Registering your trademarks with the USPTO can save you plenty of legal headaches and possibly lot of money. You must protect your unique brand from infringement if you have a significant brand name.
Forever 21 currently has 37 registered trademarks, but its rocky history has impacted the value of the brand, company, and IP. With many of the registered trademarks being a part of brands that are no longer trading, part of Forever 21’s portfolio is obsolete. As the company regrows following its bankruptcy in 2019, it can rebuild and continue expanding its trademark portfolio.