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Saturday, September 29, 2007

F21's Big Sister

Forever 21's new line of clothing, Twelve by Twelve, is now available for your viewing pleasure on their website. Think of it as the big sister to Forever 21, with a more refined and sophisticated feel. Price points are ever-so-slightly higher than those at F21, and I personally hope that the quality of the garments is reflected in that. At the moment, they don't have an abundance of items on the website, but there seems to be a predominance of tunics, sweaters, and short skirts in dark hues. With collection names such as Dandy Dolls, Modern Art, Mystical Forest, and Vintage Couture, it's difficult for the pieces to live up to their names. I'll give them credit, however, for their efforts at creativity and marketing. As an avid online browser, I'd like to see them get better mannequins or at least shell out the extra dough to do some simple photoshoots with live models. Something about those mannequins make the clothes look cheap. Anyhow, I think it makes all the difference in the world.

If you live in southern California, where F21 is based, then you're in luck. Two stores in the area will be carrying the new line. They are located at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance and the two-story F21 location (that I occasionally visit) at 35 N. DeLacey in Pasadena. According to the website, they'll be stocking the wares at the Beverly Center and also at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

On my last visit to the Pasadena location, I inadvertently bought two pieces from the Twelve by Twelve collection; some vintage-inspired cameo pins grabbed my attention while I was digging through the acccessories department. By digging, I mean sifting through bowls of small items with one hand while balancing a hefty load of clothing in another. This two-story F21 location in Pasadena is the second largest F21 store I've ever shopped, aside form the mind-boggling three-story location on Powell St. in San Francisco. The Pasadena location is merchandised much better, with the clothing arranged into themes and sections with different decor. The customer service here is also much better than at other lcoations. With the knowledge that I'll find items that aren't stocked at other F21 locations, I always stock up.

Twelve by TwelveMy two favorite pieces are the leopard coat the the Bijoux jeweled miniskirt. From the photos, they look more expensive than they are, but I would definitely want to inspect them in person. In order for this line to be successful and differentiate itself against competitors (and the F21 line), it needs to offer customers higher quality and a more polished edge, perhaps with some originality thrown in.

Photo credit: twelvebytwelve.com