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Only the Strong Survive: First Forever 21/Twelve by Twelve Sample Sale

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We got a late start, and by the time we arrived at the big red building on Alameda and Olympic, there were at least 400 people in line. At 10:30, the temperature was already climbing into the sweaty, clammy, "much too unpleasant to try on dress after dress after dress" range, the line was moving in fits and starts -- at one point, no one was allowed in for 30 minutes, until enough shopper filtered out. Hello, Forever 21 sample sale!

Young women from all over Southern California bore the heat and the nutso crowds for the chance to scoop up Twelve by Twelve (i.e., the "higher end" F21 line) at up to 90% off. We're not obsessive Forever 21 shoppers, but we do remember having seen a lot of the sale merchandise in stores earlier in the year, so it wasn't like they trotted out all the moldy unsellables from 2008 or anything.

Prices were marked on the tags and then signs were hung on the racks -- 50% off, 70% off, etc. Good luck trying to keep track of it, since it was inevitable that the lot would end up looking like a hurricane hit it.

We gotta give Forever 21 credit for getting a lot right: it started out orderly and well-stocked; there were food trucks on hand and roving vendors; the overall fun factor was high. BUT NO BATHROOMS? Come on! They obviously can't be blamed for the heat; we wonder if they had or had not properly anticipated the turn-out, since checkout lines were said to be an hour-plus wait. We decided not to brave it, but plenty of others did, and exited with HeftyBags full of bootie.
· Forever 21/Twelve by Twelve [Official Site]


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