Forever 21’s brand of imitating pricey fashion trends and reproducing them at scale is coming back to bite it.
The fast fashion brand has apparently sensed an opportunity in — or suffered a major bout of FOMO from — Kanye West’s popular Life of Pablo clothing line, which reportedly pulled in nearly a million dollars in just two days at its New York pop-up back in March. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Forever 21 is coming off as incredibly sincere with a West-inspired t-shirt, complete with Olde English-script.
For a mere $34, Forever 21’s shirt reads “Simon de Cyrene for the world,” a biblical reference to a man forced by the Romans to carry the cross of Jesus before his crucifixion. West’s shirt reads “We on an ultra light beam, this is a God,” a lyric from his song Ultralight Beam discussing his relationship with God, according to Genius.
“Forever 21 is ripping off the Pablo merch in the weakest way smh,” a fan tweeted. Another found the most appropriate West reaction:
— Jake Woolf (@jakewoolf) June 21, 2016
Forever 21 didn’t immediately respond to comment about the similarities.
Of course, it’s not the only retailer to bring Pablo’s pricey merch to the masses. H&M sold knockoff Yeezy shoes in its stores and Zara mimicked Pablo’s oversized street wear collection with looks of its own.