How Forever 21’s New Beauty Brand Is Targeting the Instagram Generation

Forever 21’s new beauty/lifestyle store Riley Rose is Instagrammable, trend-forward, and has Gen Z and Millennial shoppers in their sights. We talked to the brand’s co-founder to find out how they plan to build the future of beauty retail…

Forever 21 has launched a new store to target a niche audience of young, trendy, and social media-savvy consumers. Riley Rose, created by the two daughters of Forever 21’s co-founders, will cater to young shoppers by taking on trends like K-beauty (which Millennial and Gen Z females tell Ypulse they want to try) and stocking up on “cult brands,” according to Elle. Internet sensations with cult followings like Lime Crime and Winky Lux can be found at the flagship Glendale Galleria store. Beyond the beauty products, Riley Rose offers shoppers trendy home décor and coveted candies to become an all-around lifestyle store.

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingBut it’s not the product lineup that’s turning heads—it’s the high-tech, highly-Instagrammable in-store experience. The first store has “digitally-focused features” like selfie stations and tablets for watching tutorials or checking out the latest social posts tagged #rileyrose. From neon signs with kitsch sayings (think: “Makeup fades, memories last”) to a wall of upside down single-stem roses, the décor is clearly designed to be photographed for a social media moment. Not to mention the overall, minimalist, Millennial-pink hued aesthetic aimed at bringing out everyone’s inner Instagrammer. And the flagship is just the beginning, with Riley Rose execs saying stores to come will be larger, and have “full-on lounges” (charging stations included, of course).

We caught up with Linda Chang, one of the co-founders of Riley Rose, to find out more about the inventive new lifestyle brand. Here’s what she had to say about tapping into the…


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Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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