Is the Forever 21 Postal Service Collaboration Nuts or the Ultimate in Normcore?
Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night can stop it.
Fast fashion collabs are nothing new, but it looks like retailers are running out of brands to partner with, which could be why Forever 21 teamed up with, of all people, the United States Postal Service. According to internal documents shared with USPS employees, none of the streetwear-inspired hoodies, tube tops, and vinyl pouches are things that actual mail carriers can wear while they're on duty. Instead, the whole collection is meant to bring the post office into the minds of cool, hip shoppers.
“The collaboration will generate royalty revenue for the Postal Service and build brand awareness among a younger audience,” brand marketing executive director Chris Karpenko said in a statement.
The unisex collection includes Priority Mail, Express, and First Class prints. It's all instantly recognizable imagery and makes full use of the USPS's patriotic red, white, and blue color palette. The Forever 21 x USPS collection starts at $14.90 and goes up to $54.90. The collab even includes a webbed belt that brings to mind a certain Off-White accessory — it's even bright yellow. The hoodies feature faux receipts and QR codes and there are bike shorts, crop tops, and oversize tees for anyone looking to add a little postal flair to their daily 'fits. While the Priority Mail envelope zipper pouch appears to be sold out at the moment, the rest of the collection is still up for grabs. With the Costume Institute's upcoming camp exhibition just a few months away, this over-the-top collection may be just the thing to get people in the mood for irony and audacity.
The Cut notes that the collab could be inspired by Vetements's 2016 collection, which produced a DHL-branded T-shirt that went on to become a staple among the street style set. It's a few seasons late, but Forever 21 could be hoping to cash in on that sweet delivery service trend and give something to shoppers who weren't willing to shell out $400 for a cotton T-shirt.