Must Read: U.S. Lawmakers Want Shein Audited for Forced Labor, Nordstrom Undergoes Tech Layoffs

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<p>Photo: Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images</p>

Photo: Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Tuesday.

U.S. lawmakers call for SEC to verify Shein does not use forced labor
As fast-fashion retailer Shein reportedly eyes a U.S. IPO, U.S. representatives have called for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to verify that fast-fashion giant does not use forced labor, Reuters reports. The push for an SEC investigation is led by Democratic Representative Jennifer Wexton and Republican John Rose. Shein has been accused of worker rights abuse in the past; however, a Shein spokesperson denies all allegations and states Shein has zero tolerance for forced labor. {Reuters}

Nordstrom undergoes tech layoffs
Following the appointment of a new chief technology and information officer, Nordstrom has laid off an unknown number of tech workers, Retail Dive reports. Workers in program and product management, data science, analytics and engineering were impacted. "As we continue to invest in technology as a critical area of our business, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our technology workforce, adjusting the team structure and eliminating certain roles to remain agile and operate more efficiently," a company spokesperson said in a statement. Forty percent of Nordstrom's offerings are digital, though the company saw a 13.1% decrease in digital sales in its 2022 Q4 net sales report. {Retail Dive}

The controversial life of Karl Lagerfeld
For The New York Times, Ruth La Ferla reflects on the controversial life of Karl Lagerfeld — a designer whose "achievements on the runway [were] often outshone by offensive blunders and tone-deaf remarks." He was known for his grand runway gestures, such as staging a feminist protest for a Chanel show, though he was vocally against the #MeToo movement. Lagerfeld also made comments that conveyed fatphobia, cultural appropriation and a stance against gay marriage. For all his accomplishments, Lagerfeld was "as fluent in controversy as he was in couture." {The New York Times/paywalled}

Francesca's acquires Richer Poorer
Effective immediately, Richer Poorer has been acquired by fashion retail chain Francesca's due to "Richer Poorer's experience with e-commerce, its wholesale partnerships and its Gen Z audience," reports Danny Parisi for Glossy. In 2021, Francesca's was acquired by TerraMar Capital and went private after going bankrupt. Richer Poorer's DTC model and strong relationship with wholesalers will provide a greater reach for Francesca's target audience. "[Creating this new cooperative of brands] will deliver increased operational efficiencies, accelerate our omnichannel capabilities and open new revenue streams [like wholesale]," said Andrew Clarke, CEO of Francesca's. {Glossy}

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