It’s often the biggest companies that have the tightest reign on their public perception — and inexpensive clothing company Forever 21 is no exception. Despite their public image of being young and fun (and, oh, totally Christian), the company is really, really up in arms over WTForever21, a funny blog that chronicles the hits and misses that come out of what blogger Rachel Kane calls the “shame factory.” Forever 21 sent Kane a cease and desist letter in April, claiming that she was violating copyright and trademark laws, even though Kane clearly states on the homepage, “Just FYI, The term ‘Forever 21′ is a trademark of Forever 21, Inc. This site is not affiliated with Forever 21, Inc.”Posts on Kane’s site typically involve picking out tacky or cheaply-made pieces of Forev’s ephemera and waxing poetic on them in a silly way. Still, Forever 21 claims in its cease and desist that “your website’s name refers to an abbreviation for colloquial expression that the general public may find offensive,” and claimed the blog was “unfair competition” and has led to “monetary damages” for the company.
It doesn’t matter if those claims can be substantiated or not. Given the legal muscle Forever 21 has backing it, Kane says she’ll more than likely have to shut down her blog. “I don’t have the resources (financial or otherwise) to take on a behemoth like Forever 21 over a little satire blog I love,” she said. “The real bummer for me is the community that’s grown up around it is going to suddenly disappear. That’s where the fun comes from — people chiming in about their own WTF moments is the real special sauce. WTForever21.com is just the bowl it comes in.” At the end of the day said Kane, “The only thing I have to console myself with in this defeat is the hope that consumers at large will know just how humorless the people are who make the day glow pink panties they buy in bulk.” [Village Voice]