The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Off the Rack: Forever 21 Fifth Avenue

It's no secret that I'm a HUGE Forever 21 fan, so when I got invited to preview the Grand Opening of Forever 21's 5th Avenue store in New York, I did not hesitate to wake up at 6 a.m. and ride that 2 hour-long train into the city for a press preview called Coffee & Couture. The store is gorgeous, meticulously organized, and all the staff members on hand were super cheerful, polite and eager to show off their swanky new home. Definitely worthy of its Fifth Avenue address! In addition to tons of fall layering pieces, cozy knits and outerwear, this Forever 21 location has loads of holiday party dressing options from embellished tops to faux fur to accessories like rhinestone jewelry, shiny clutch purses and platform heels.

The highlight of my morning had to be my conversation with Senior Marketing Manager Linda Chang, sister of Esther Chang (who heads the visuals department) and daughter of the fast-fashion empire's founders. We talked at length about everything from the company's humble beginnings to its bright future (watch out for bigger stores and more collabs, although don't expect them to be in the same vein as H&M). Linda struck me as incredibly intelligent, kind, humble and down-to-earth. She seems like a beautiful person inside and out. I liked that she said the focus of the company has always been the customer, that's why we've seen things like the launch of Faith 21 (plus size), Love 21 (contemporary mature), maternity, beauty and more. You had me at hello, Forever 21.

If you're ever in NYC, don't miss this super hot shopping spot. More eye candy after the jump.