Forever 21 is translating its warp speed runway-to-rack formula to beauty with the launch of the brand love & beauty.

This story first appeared in the November 23, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

While Zara and H&M have broken into beauty abroad, love & beauty marks the first major entrance into beauty of a fast-fashion retailer on U.S. soil. Los Angeles-based Forever 21 Inc. started this month planting the full 145 stockkeeping unit selection of love & beauty at 135 locations and a partial selection of the line at the remaining around 305 stores.

“It made sense as a next step,” said Forever 21 spokeswoman Kirstin Nagle. “If you think of our customer, she loves being on trend and, to complete her look, we had everything in our stores except the cosmetics piece.”

Forever 21 has begun with a wide-ranging assortment that covers lips, eyes, face, nails, fragrance and tools and accessories such as cosmetic bags, tweezers and makeup brushes. The items are priced to move and nothing is more than $10.

“We are using a lot of the vendors that are making prestige cosmetics. It is the same quality as prestige vendors, but at Forever 21 prices,” Nagle said.

She described the cosmetics as being merchandised together in prime shopping square footage at the stores with full love & beauty selections. During a recent visit to a For Love 21, which is Forever 21’s accessories-focused store, at Beverly Center mall in Los Angeles, love & beauty items were placed on two sizable display tables and two sets of bookcase-style shelves near the entrance.

Love & beauty is mostly packaged in black and clear plastic with the logo written in cursive in silver, black or white. Nagle singled out kits, including a Smoky Eye Kit and an upcoming Mineral Face Kit and Bronzing Kit, as probable bestsellers.

Forever 21 has built a big business — and collected quite a few foes in the fashion industry who accuse the retailer of copying designs — by bringing the latest designer craze cheaply to consumers. Nagle suggested that model would extend to beauty.

Forever 21 is expected to reach $2.3 billion in sales this year, and industry sources estimate that beauty could generate $60 million in first-year sales.

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