Store opening, Forever 21, Birmingham

American brand, Forever 21, is expanding into the UK market with the opening of the company’s flagship store in Birmingham. Surprisingly, the fast-fashion retailer has decided its British debut would not be in London and instead has saved money on rental costs by opening at Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre.

Probably on par with H&M, or a more expensive Primark, Forever 21 has over 480 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Korea and Japan selling women’s, men’s (21 Men) and children’s (HTG 81) clothing and accessories. Sub brands include Faith 21 – specializing in plus size – and Twelve by Twelve.

The brand plans to open its next UK store in London in Westfield Stratford shopping centre, due to open in 2011.

The images below are from the Forever 21 store in Times Square:

Store opening: Gareth Pugh, Hong Kong

British, avant-garde designer Gareth Pugh has opened his first retail store in Hong Kong as part of a deal with I.T. Group, the company that now owns Pugh’s Hong Kong retail rights. The 658-square-foot shop is located on Ice House Street near other experimental designers, such as, Comme des Garçons, Ann Demeulemeester and Martin Margiela.

The interior has black rubber paint and glossy black tiles in the main space, with white quilted walls in the fitting rooms. The all black exterior does not have traditional window displays but instead the large glass wall shows through to an LED screen in the back of the shop. Inspired by his friend Nick Knight, Pugh is hoping one day the screen might connect to a live feed camera in his studio. Pugh has no immediate plans to open additional retail stores.

The designer also denied recent rumours that he is heading to Thierry Mugler: “There is no truth to them at all. Rumours are rumours. It’s not going to happen.”