TYLER HAYWARD / SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR

Katherine George

Silhouette

The concept of fashion is all about mixing and matching to create an artistic appearance that effectively reflects an individual’s personality. This concept often emits a superficial perspective which revolves solely around an individual’s external appearance

However, is it possible for fashion to fulfill a meaning beyond exterior appearances? Do-Won Chang and his wife Jin-Sook Chang, co-founders of the highly successful Forever 21, attempt to match their interest in fashion with their spiritual Christian beliefs.

The inspiration for creating Forever 21 was to provide consumers with attainable fashion pieces that are convenient, trendy and most importantly inexpensive. Forever 21 has made impressive progress since it was first founded in the United States during 1984. Today, Forever 21 has more than 480 stores worldwide and is planning on furthering their expansion into Europe within the upcoming years. Surprisingly, Do-Won Chang has built this incredible empire on two completely separate or seemingly separate ideals: fashion and religion.

Do-Won Chang successfully accomplishes the impossible task of harnessing his internal beliefs and values and promoting them in a highly fashionable way. The founder and co-founder expose their Christian beliefs by inscribing the biblical verse John 3:16 on the bottom of every merchandise bag.

Each customer walks away with not only their most recent wardrobe addition, but also a piece of Christian religion, whether they realize it or not.

This particular biblical reference is taken from the Christian Bible, more specifically chapter 3, verse 16 of the Gospel of John. It is one of the most frequently quoted verses from the Christian Bible and has even been referred to as the most famous Bible verse. More importantly, the message behind this popular biblical verse states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Do-Won Chang and Jin-Sook Chang state their intentions for emblazing this inscription on each and every merchandise bag is to show how their Christian belief has been highly influential while building their trendy fashion empire.

An interpretation into how this specific biblical reference pertains to the concept of fashion may perhaps imply that the clothing supplied by Forever 21 carries the strong spiritual belief of both Do-Won Chang and Jin-Sook Chang, and therefore is everlasting and sustains eternal life.

For some individuals Do-Won Chang’s proud and showy approach to expressing his religious beliefs is admirable. The fashion world is an incredibly cut-throat business world and it can be hard to sustain and maintain what is important.

However, there has been plenty of expected controversy over the use of a religious biblical reference for such a materialistic concept. It is incredible how something so small carries such enormous weight.

It may simply be a small accessory for Do-Won Chang and Jin-Sook Chang in comparison to their overall fashion outlook, but fashion is all about defining personality through appearance which Do-Won Chang and Jin-Sook Chang seem to accomplish quite fashionably.

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