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Shein's "Endless Summer Show" 2023 : Runway In Paris

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Fast fashion site Shein is in a bit of trouble. Consider thinking twice before you ‘add to cart.’

Three designers have filed an official lawsuit against the online mega-site Shein. In a motion filed this week, the independent designers said they were shocked that the Chinese brand had copied and sold their products. Designers named in the suit are Krista Perry, Larissa Martinez, and Jay Baron.

Commonly used among influencers, Gen-Zers,’ and many looking for a “quick ‘fit,” Shein has grown exponentially over the past few years. The brand has worked directly with influencers to market to consumers, expanded sizing with offerings like Shein FIT+, and worked with designers for capsule collections called Shein X.

But despite its trendy popularity, Shein has struggled with criticism about overall fit, fabrics and quality, and ethical practices. This week’s suit illuminates this uncertainty.

The California lawsuit states that Shein has engaged in “egregious” copyright infringement that constitutes racketeering. And while fashion lovers have come to expect to see the same dress and pants on multiple sites, like Shein, Fashionnova, and small online boutiques, this new suit alleges that Shein’s practices went beyond copying. What makes this case different are the allegations of possible violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) Act.

Shein’s Secret Algorithm

According to Fashion Law, plaintiffs say ‘”[t]here is no Coco Chanel or Yves Saint Laurent behind the Shein empire. Rather, there is a mysterious tech genius, Xu Yangtian aka Chris Xu,” who has made Shein “the world’s top clothing company through high technology, not high design.”‘

Plaintiffs also suggest the online company uses a secret algorithm to determine real-time fashion trends. Legal paperwork describes Shein’s algorithm as being so accurate that it “could not work without generating the kinds of exact copies that can greatly damage an independent designer’s career.”

This lawsuit adds to public scrutiny of Shein. In 2012, model and designer Mariama Diallo accused the brand of stealing her designs “to a ‘t.’”

However, as a lower-priced brand with styles added daily, Shein arguably has a “chokehold” over some’s pocketbooks. Celebrities like Jordyn Woods, Khloe Kardashian, Law Roach, and Christian Siriano have worked with the brand. Shein seemingly has a place in the fashion ecosystem.

What are your thoughts on the lawsuit and Shein brand? Do you have Shein in your closet? Let us know in the comments below.


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Remove From Cart: Designers Sue Fast Fashion Giant Shein  was originally published on