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FOREVER 21 JOINS FORCES WITH MARVEL: Forever 21 is looking to some superheroes to boost its back-to-school business. The fast-fashion retailer has teamed with Marvel to introduce more than 20 stockkeeping units of juniors apparel and accessories, priced mostly from $12.80 to $22.80, emblazoned with imagery of superheroes in Marvel’s portfolio, including Thor, Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine and Iron Man. The items will be placed together at the front of 450 Forever 21 stores in the U.S. this week in so-called “comic shops.”

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This story first appeared in the July 16, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We’ve had the superheroes on the floor and, in the last few seasons, they have done increasingly well. The consumer has already been responding to the individual product, and we have taken it to the next level,” said Betsy Zanjani, senior vice president of design product at Forever 21. She speculated a combination of interest in old-school characters, this year’s summer blockbusters such as “The Wolverine” and “Iron Man 3,” and a taste for the one-two punch of humor and action makes superheroes appealing to Forever 21’s customer base. She added that Forever 21 is betting on its particular fashion twists on the superheroes to be successful this b-t-s session. “The excitement is really in the nontraditional styles like body-con, all-over printed comic strip leggings and cotton Lycra crop tops. We are offering something a little bit different,” said Zanjani.

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