Shein rocked the runway again on Sunday.
The Chinese fashion juggernaut on Sept. 25 presented the second iteration of its “non-traditional, hybrid fashion show,” which it livestreamed through its app and social media channels.
“Rock the Runway: Shein for All” included performances by Avril Lavigne, Shenseea, Ylona Garcia of 88rising, Brooke Eden, Alexander Jean, Victoria Kimani, Owenn, The Future X and Haley Reinhart.
Fashion designer Christian Siriano also unveiled his new collaboration with Shein’s more upmarket Motf (pronounced mo-teef) label.
“As a one-stop destination for fashion lovers, Shein aims to serve everyone with fashion, music, and dance through this unforgettable special event, in celebration of #SHEINforALL!” TikTok’s buzziest brand said ahead of the show.
Unlike last year’s version, which raised awareness of and donations for the National Action Network, the civil-rights organization founded by Reverend Al Sharpton, and Youth Emerging Stronger, a youth homeless shelter in Los Angeles, Rock the Runway 2.0 doesn’t appear pegged to any larger cause.
But like Khloé Kardashian discovered when she joined the Shein X Challenge as a judge last year, associating with the world’s fastest-growing e-tailer, which is reportedly valued at $10 billion, can provoke mixed responses.
“Shein is a fast fashion brand that steals designs, violates human rights, and is severely polluting our planet. I love you Avril but please reconsider this, they aren’t a brand you want to associate with,” one fan of Lavigne’s wrote on Twitter. Another wrote, with copious crying emojis: “Nooooo, let’s not support fast fashion brands that literally sell clothes that contain LEAD!! You don’t need this @AvrilLavigne. #savetheplanet”
The singer used the platform to showcase her latest musical effort. “The SHEIN Rock The Runway fashion show is such a unique event merging music and fashion,” said Lavigne, who is touring to promote her latest album Love Sux. “We filmed ‘Bite Me’ in a music video style during the fashion show. I had a great time shooting and wearing their clothes.”
Siriano, who previously served as a Shein X Challenge judge, didn’t post about the event on his social media, though he has been busy. The “Project Runway” alum is the new denim designer for Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans. Xcel Brands Inc. also appointed Siriano as creative director of the rejiggered C. Wonder by Christian Siriano, which is expected to go live in spring 2023.
Shein is no slouch either. The most-downloaded shopping app plans to expand its distribution center in Indiana from 1 million to 1.5 million square feet, as well as open a second, 1.8-million-square-foot warehouse in southern California as early as next spring. A third facility, in the Northeast, is also reportedly in the pipeline. This would make its fast fashion even faster by reducing shipping times that, in comparison with the likes of Amazon and rivals H&M and Zara, are a glacial 9 to 11 business days, according to its website.
Shein told the Wall Street Journal last week that it has been dispatching its shipments directly from China by air, as well as by ocean freight, and that it’s trying to identify more products that can be shipped more affordably by sea or from locations that are more local to its customers.
But the e-tailer could soon face some competition. Temu, a sister company of Chinese online marketplace Pinduoduo, opened its U.S. shopping site this month with listings as varied as clothing, pet supplies, office staples and home goods. Prices appeared to be heavily—one could even say alarmingly—discounted to draw in new customers. One denim jacket was being sold for 99 cents, down from its regular price of $23.49. A long-sleeved tie-belt dress had a going rate of $4.85, down from $19.40.
“Temu is able to offer competitive prices for the products thanks to our access to a global network of suppliers and fulfillment partners,” it said in a release last week. “We share these sourcing and fulfillment capabilities with our sister e-commerce company under Nasdaq-listed PDD, which has worked with more than 11 million global merchants and handled 61 billion orders in 2021.”