Case Study at a Glance
Forever 21 is a fast-fashion retailer
Los Angeles, California
Creator relationships at the intersection of sports and fashion
Agility and flexibility to work on a tight timeline
The brand was debuting its Lakers collection and wanted to raise awareness around the launch through influencer marketing
The aim was to drive interest, engagement and ultimately, sales
In the realm of American fast fashion, Forever 21 is a giant. Founded in 1984 as Fashion 21, the Los Angeles-based company makes trends accessible by keeping the prices of its clothing, accessories, beauty products, and home goods low. But among the challenges of the fast-fashion landscape is achieving distinction: how does anyone collection stand out from the rest?
To that end, Forever 21 prepared to launch a collection in honor of its home basketball team, the world-famous Los Angeles Lakers. While working with athletes on the campaign seemed like an obvious move, Forever 21 didn’t want to give consumers the impression that the apparel line was just for athletes—and the brand didn’t want the clothing to feel out of reach for its target customer’s budget either. To drive sales, Forever 21 expanded its influencer marketing efforts, selecting BEN to identify and collaborate with talent at the intersection of sports fandom and fashion.
Finding the Right Fit
Though Forever 21 executes its own internal influencer marketing programs, BEN’s unique relationships with creators within this specific athletics-meets-apparel niche made the partnership a clear opportunity for Forever 21 to better reach its target audience. The goal of the collaboration? To show customers how influencers worked the clothes into their everyday style and drive purchases.
The clothing company asked BEN to coordinate the creation of 10 pieces of creator content. To make it happen, BEN identified influencers within Forever 21’s diverse demographic that lived in the LA area, so that they could capture the LA energy around the Lakers. Creators were free to style the apparel according to their own personal preferences.
Out of the gate, the campaign was running on a tight schedule—the collection had to be shipped to influencers before they could create content, leading to some complex logistics and the need for flexibility. As a result, BEN needed to tap creators in its network that had already proven themselves reliable and nimble. But that didn’t stop them from seeking new talent to meet Forever 21’s needs, especially with regard to identifying diverse individuals. One new creator BEN recruited, a former Lakers dancer, was the ideal candidate for the campaign given her experience with the team. The fit was so ideal that over a month after the campaign ended, her Instagram profile photo was still an image of her in Forever 21 Lakers apparel.
A Slam Dunk Campaign
With all the pieces in place, BEN leveraged 15 paid influencers across Instagram and TikTok—platforms where Forever 21 customers are most likely to engage with the content—to deliver 28 pieces of organic content and three sponsored posts, far exceeding the brand’s expectations. Sponsored posts drove over 470% in purchase revenue for Forever 21 and gave the company 2.3 million impressions across Instagram stories and TikTok videos.