This is why Forever 21 put that weird Bible verse on the bottom of all their bags
What, you’ve never noticed?
Forever 21 as a brand experience is, in general, a sensory overload. You’re surrounded by saccharine EDM, smiley sales assistants, really tempting prices but ultimately, a lot of shit slogans ruining otherwise perfectly OK garments.
So it’s natural that you may have missed, on your brave ventures in there, the fact that Forever 21 prints a weird Bible verse on the bottom of all their carrier bags – John 3.16. The verse is famous for two reasons: firstly, it’s the origin of the iconic Stone Cold Steve Austin gimmick Austin 3:16, obviously, and secondly it’s that bit in the big book where someone said: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” It’s probably embroidered somewhere in your granny’s house, one of those.
Husband and wife Don and Jin Sook Chang founded Forever 21 in 1984, after moving to LA from South Korea in 1981. They’re fiercely religious and as devoted Christians they even “go on mission trips” instead of vacations. Their daughter Helen Chang, the public face of the Forever 21 family, told The Guardian in 2011 that the bag is a “statement of faith”. But she argued: “There is no religious tilt to Forever 21. The faith of the founders is separate to the brand – the bag is simply a statement of faith.”
The owners are also, despite the “statement of faith”, pretty secretive. “People join their church just to get close to them”, an employee told Radar. He explained: “Mrs. Chang, who attends pre-dawn services every day and strongly encourages her vendors to do the same, makes it a piot to give Christians in the industry a leg up, too.”
Rowena Rodriguez, a fashion consultant who worked with Forever 21, told Jezebel in an email interview: “In the short time I worked with Mrs. Chang, my life was transformed, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Mrs. Chang prayed me into the Kingdom! If you really want to know, I’ll tell you. But you won’t believe me.The Changs love Jesus!”
It’s probably not that surprising, especially when you consider they’ve sold some seriously cheesy “Jesus loves you!” shirts in the past. I only hope and pray that through the everlasting light and truth and guidance of Jesus Christ Forever 21 will finally see the light and stop putting “tacos!” and “squad goals” on the front of all their tees. Amen.
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