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The inspiration behind the Korean couple who started Forever 21

pagoskawaii 17 de January del 2017 Business
With 790 stores in 48 countries all around, one of the fastest growing fashion retailers in the world right now is Forever 21. From his office near downtown Los Angeles, Do Won Chang oversees his company as the founder and chief executive.

Originally called Fashion 21, located in L.A.’s Highland Park neighborhood, when it finally grew out of the community’s clientele, the store changed his name to Forever 21, soon opening new stores in other parts of the U. S. and overseas, including his hometown of Myung Dong, in Seoul, South Korea.

And although the economic turn had him close down seven stores in 2009, his revenue is constantly climbing and the projections are good, he’s chosen Hong Kong and Israel for expansion, among other countries at the moment, recovering from the crisis to position itself as one of the most important names in the industry.

His story is the classic immigrant tale of success in America, with little more than a high school education, he moved to the U. S. in 1981 and worked part time at a coffee shop in the mornings, pumping gas in the afternoons, and cleaning offices until midnight. However, as they say, behind every man’s story of success there’s a woman making it happen, and Jin Sook, working as a hairdresser managed to help her husband raise the 11,000 $ necessary to open their first store.

The story goes, that while working at the gas station he saw that the people coming in with the nicest cars were always somehow related to the fashion industry, he noted the fact and decided to start working in clothing shops to learn the business.

Today the couple is worth 2.8 billion $ according to Forbes Magazine, but back in 1984 when they first opened it took them all of their savings and full determination to stay in business. Being very religious, they have made it a trade mark to print John 3:16 on the bottom of their shopping bags, they attend praying sessions at the local church almost every morning, and prefer having their business being family run, including their two daughters into the most important processes within the company, marketing and the visual elements of the chain, considering unlikely a stock offering anytime soon.

From his Beverly Hills home, Don” Chang is proud to be a symbol for the American Dream, saying that he is happy to know that other immigrants can walk into the store and think about how all of it was started by a Korean couple with almost no resources. That they can also succeed as they have, it is possible. Part of his fortune goes to different charities around the world, especially to their home country and to victims of disasters in Asian countries like Japan.

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