For a brief moment on Saturday, shoppers in New York City's Union Square may have noticed something a little bit different about the Forever 21 display window. In an effort to preserve the memory of black youth killed by police, multi-racial activist group Never 21 dressed Forever 21 mannequins in "Black Lives Matter" shirts. The t-shirts could be seen in a prominent window display in front of the store, but were reportedly only in place for a short time period before the store manager noticed and took them down.
According to Never 21's website, the group's goal is to remind the public of black men, women, and children who have lost their lives at the hands of police.
Countless underaged lives have been lost at the hands of 'vigilantes' and disgruntled police officers. These youth were never given the chance to see age 21, or any age there after, so we respond by reminding the public of the battle that we are still actively fighting.
It's obvious why Forever 21 seemed like a good setting for Never 21 to display the "Black Lives Matter" t-shirts, which also had their website URL printed on them, but it makes sense why the store manager and employees had to eventually take them down.
However, the seriousness of the shirts messages juxtaposed with the fun, carefree aesthetic of Forever 21 certainly did make a statement, and caught the attention of those walking by the display.
Never 21 created a video of the action and made sure to emphasize that "this was not an attack on Forever 21." Instead, they described it as "an opportunity for the popular retail conglomerate to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Whether they choose to support our message or be against it, this will not stop us from making sure that these voices continue to be heard."
Forever 21 sent Bustle the following statement:
"Forever 21 is not associated with the Never 21 Project and had no prior knowledge of their public demonstration."