Authentic’s Shein Partnership Expands With Forever 21 Link Up

Authentic Brands Group and Shein have inked a long-term agreement to distribute an exclusive co-branded Forever 21 line on Shein’s online sites across the U.S., parts of Europe and Australia.

The collaboration follows the disclosure in August of the strategic partnership between Authentic’s SPARC Group Holdings II LLC and Shein. That agreement saw Shein take a one-third interest in SPARC. It also gave the global e-commerce platform operator, which serves 150 million online users, the opportunity to test Shein customer-focused experiences in Forever 21 locations. In turn, SPARC—a joint venture between Authentic and Simon Property Group—became a minority shareholder in Shein.

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Under the latest agreement, the new Forever 21 x Shein collection will include apparel and accessories in product categories such as sportswear, activewear and swimwear, among others, for men and women.

The line will leverage Shein’s on-demand production model, which results in ultra-quick and affordable trend-right merchandise that the company also claims helps to reduce inventory waste.

“Shein’s innovative approach to engaging with consumers gives them the ability to deliver trends at speed. With an evolving retail landscape, where digital interaction has become the cornerstone of e-commerce, Shein has led the way in redefining how brands connect with consumers,” Jamie Salter, Authentic’s founder, chairman and CEO, said. “We are excited to partner with Shein, as this collaboration perfectly fits into our distribution strategy for the brand’s new key markets.”

“We’re thrilled to bring the renowned Forever 21 brand to Shein customers using our manufacturing capabilities and online store,” Donald Tang, Shein’s executive chairman, said. “Forever 21 and Shein share a mission to deliver products that our customers love at an incredible value. This exciting new aspect of our partnership with Authentic furthers our goal of making fashion accessible to all and we look forward to bringing this to life for our customers.”

Earlier this month, Shein hosted its first pop-up within a Forever 21 store at Ontario Mills shopping center, which saw more than 7,000 shoppers in attendance. Authentic and Shein believe that by combining forces, the two brands will be better able to provide digital access to a greater pool of customers.

Forever 21 was acquired out of bankruptcy by Authentic and Simon Property in February 2020 for $81 million. SPARC is the core operating partner of Forever 21 in the U.S.

Forever 21 has also been expanding overseas. It arrived at the Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai’s biggest shopping center, in August 2022 and opened a store in China at the Jingjiang Impression City mall in Taizhou, a neighboring city of Shanghai in June 2022.

Forever 21 has been working on other fashion collaborations, too. In May, the fast-fashion brand teamed with Virtual Brand Group to create an AI-designed virtual Forever 21 x Barbie collection available exclusively on Roblox. The line was a part of Roblox’s metaverse experience Shop City that allows visitors to build and operate their own fashion store. The virtual collection mirrored the in-store assortment, and also offered metaverse-exclusive Forever 21 x Barbie designs.

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