Forever 21 is associated with trend-driven millennial women willing to cycle through affordable party dresses and accessories each season. Now that the retailer has built a fast-fashion empire with 700 global stores, it’s flexing its muscle in menswear.
The company has been designing quick and cheap men’s clothing since 2006, but only recently has that piece of the brand surfaced in its content strategy. Forever 21, which has one of the most popular accounts on Instagram with 7.6 million followers, launched a new Instagram account, Forever 21 Men, in June. In two months, @Forever21Men gained 38,000 followers and generated 8,000 posts tagged #Forever21men.
The new account is one part of the retailer’s push to recreate, for menswear, the success it has seen with womenswear. While the retailer doesn’t break out what percentage of its shoppers are male, a Forever 21 representative said that the consumer base remains largely female but added that the men’s business has been experiencing “double-digit growth.” (The company would not disclose the base, which makes it hard to evaluate whether this is truly impressive.)
“We’re establishing ourselves as a serious player in the men’s market, and with that, we wanted our customers to know that we’re creating product and content specifically for them,” said a Forever 21 rep.
The brand is pushing to build out its offerings for men as well as kids and is using the same growth strategy as it did to build its women’s brand: offer fast, fashion-forward clothing accompanied by inspirational brand content.
“Since Forever 21 has had such success with its main Instagram account, a menswear account is a natural extension,” said Donna Delshad, a strategist for United Talent Agency’s brand studio. “The consumer starts to associate that brand or that account almost as if it were a lifestyle, and that’s what Forever 21 needs to be for men.”
The strategy of creating one gendered account to complement a main gender-neutral account on Instagram has proven successful for Nike, which launched a second Instagram account, @NikeWomen, without cutting women’s products from the main @Nike Instagram page. Nike Women now has 2 million followers on Instagram.
Just as trendy fitness gear — or “athleisure,” as it’s called — has become an undeniable force in the fashion industry, more fast-fashion retailers are paying attention to their male consumers.
“Over the past few years, the men’s market has seen a dramatic shift in how men shop for clothing – it’s faster, more fashion-forward and diverse,” said Forever 21.
“For Forever 21 has a huge opportunity for menswear because they’re only growing,” said Jessica Navas, chief planning officer at Erwin Penland. “Fast-fashion is universally appealing.”
On its menswear Instagram, Forever 21 puts together outfits and recruits style bloggers to contribute to the feed, similar to its main account. According to Navas, drumming up outfit inspiration and making it look easy and approachable is what “any smart brand will do.”
More men-driven content has begun to surface in other facets of Forever 21’s branded content strategy. The daily newsletter features more men’s products, and 21st Street Blog, Forever 21’s native content blog, has slowly begun working in content centered around menswear and featuring male style bloggers.
“We like to highlight all the accomplishments we’ve made and all the hard work the team has put in to building this brand,” Forever 21 said about the menswear content.
“They’re smart to figure out how to get men involved. The promise of Forever 21 is that it’s of-the-moment style within reach, and now, they’re elevating that promise to reach both of these audiences equally,” said Navas. “It’s a great brand play.”
Dentsu’s new global gaming lead reflects on gaming strategy ‘void’ in advertising, media
Despite the rapid rise of gaming in recent years — or perhaps because of it — many brands and marketers are still confused about how to best reach the gaming community. Dentsu's new global gaming lead Brent Koning is equipped to navigate these uncertain waters.
‘Time to go on the offense’: In a choppy ad tech M&A market, strategic investors eye deals
For many strategic investors, it's a good moment to put their corporate development teams to work.
Member ExclusiveDigiday+ Research: 60% of brands, retailers say holiday revenue will increase this year — slightly
Despite the current economic climate and perhaps not surprisingly following a record-breaking Thanksgiving shopping weekend, Digiday's survey found that the majority of brands and retailers expect revenue to increase during the holiday season over last year -- albeit only slightly.
SponsoredPublishers are adapting advertising strategies for a privacy-first world
Tina Iannacchino, senior publisher director, Seedtag So much of the attention around the death of third-party cookies and its impact on the digital advertising industry is focused on the implications for brands and consumers, which is far from the complete picture. The digital publishing industry in the U.S. is massive and set to be shaken […]
Why Spotify makes Wrapped its annual marketing moment
As first-party data becomes increasingly important, so does Spotify's Wrapped end of year marketing campaign.
Why YouTube’s focus on competing with streamers may have hurt the platform as brands focus on TikTok
As competition continues to heat up in the digital video and content creation space with TikTok, Instagram and the recent addition of social app BeReal, YouTube may be feeling that heat more and more.