Forever 21's new maternity line stirs controversy

The popular teen store Forever 21 starts a maturity line in some states with the highest teen pregnancy rates.

July 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A popular teen clothing store is adding a controversial new line to its inventory -- maternity wear.

Forever 21 is known for trendy, affordable clothes for young people. The popular retailer is now introducing the addition of a maternity line called "Love 21 Maternity." It is only found in stores in five states. Three of those states, including California, also have the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country.

"Teens are very susceptible to messages," says Kelly Ramirez from the YWCA.

Those who offer teen support classes, like at the YWCA, worry about how selling a maternity line in a store frequented by teenagers, will be interpreted.

In a statement, company reps say, "Forever 21 did not create, design or distribute Love 21 Maternity to target or appeal specifically to pregnant teens. Any relationship between teen pregnancy rates and the locations of our stores is unintentional."

"This seems awfully coincidental. We've got five states with higher teen pregnancy rates and now all of a sudden that happens to be the areas that this retailer is choosing to add this line to," says Stacy Castle from the YWCA.

"It's going to make it seem like it's OK for young girls to get pregnant," says parent Marie Borromeo.

For some, mixing teens and maternity wear just doesn't add up.

"I do believe some teenagers will want to get pregnant," says 13-year-old Pricilla Cortez.

Others disagree and see Love 21 as simply another clothing line in a store.

"I think young people are smarter than that that. We know it's not OK to be a teenager and be pregnant," says 17-year-old Briana Banuelos.

"It's just a store selling maternity clothes," says 15-year-old Alexis Borremeo.

"I don't think it says it's OK to get pregnant, by selling the maternity clothes here," says Jessie Liukkonen.

Love 21 is expanding into Nevada next week, another state that ranks high in teen pregnancies.


Load Comments