In a sign of the times, Forever 21 now joins Abercrombie & Fitch, Zara, GAP, and H&M on Fifth Avenue in New York City, an exclusive stretch long reserved for luxury brands. Taking the place of Takashimaya, a high-end Japanese department store chain so high-brow that their gift wrapping tissue paper comes with origami folds, Forever 21 appears to be succeeding in making quite the splash of its own.
It’s hard not to miss Takashimaya’s unique fashion and gift items, but as I found out when I stopped by Forever 21’s new location, half the fun of shopping the store was the gorgeous space, which hasn’t changed all that much for the mass retailer’s grand opening. High ceilings, grand arches, and a sun-drenched lobby with a rotunda are just some of the stunning aesthetic features of the six floor store – quite the spiffy backdrop for $19.99 jackets! Forever 21 has added to the bones of the building with fun, and at times even elegant, displays that work in lush touches likes fresh flowers, chandeliers, and candles.
I checked-out the retailer’s holiday buys and was most impressed with the shoes. Located in the former Takashimaya flower shop, a pair of velvet black pumps with a crystal bow (above), priced at only $25, along with some studded booties (all under $40), would be the perfect way to add a festive touch to a holiday party look.
It’s worth noting, however, that the 45,000 square foot space, located at 693 Fifth Avenue, has only been leased for 6 months. The building’s owner is negotiating with 10 retailers, but high-level executives at Forever 21 stress that they hope to be at the Fifth Avenue location permanently.