Authentic Brands Group and Shein have signed a new long-term agreement regarding Forever 21, which sees Shein launch an exclusive Forever 21 co-branded clothing line on its websites in the US, parts of Europe, and Australia.
This development sees the two fast-fashion brands strengthen their current partnership while expanding their reach. The new partnership builds on Shein's strategic investment earlier this year when the Chinese company acquired a majority stake in Sparc Group, the parent company of Forever 21. The agreement puts Shein at the forefront of this initiative, managing the design, production, and distribution of the co-branded Forever 21 apparel and accessories line.
Spanning both menswear and womenswear, the new co-branded collection will integrate new designs across sportswear, activewear, swimwear, and more, signifying a significant expansion in Shein's product range. The co-branded collection will be produced according to Shein's on-demand production model, which helps reduce inventory waste, according to the fast fashion brand.
"We're thrilled to bring the renowned Forever 21 brand to Shein customers using our manufacturing capabilities and online store," said Donald Tang, executive chairman at Shien, in a statement. "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."
News of the new co-branded clothing line comes on the heels of Shein’s recent acquisition of roughly one-third ownership in Sparc Group. The acquisition saw Shein introduce its fashion range into Forever 21's brick-and-mortar stores, enhancing the fast-fashion brand's consumer reach while allowing for an in-store shopping experience.
Now, in a somewhat reciprocal development, Forever 21, known for its strong retail presence throughout the US, will be able to tap into Shein's digital proficiency and expansive online consumer base. This strategic move is expected to aid Forever 21 in strengthening its own e-commerce operations while enhancing its online presence.
The new collaboration will aid both brands beyond immediate sales goals and is in line with broader objectives. Amidst speculations of a US IPO, Shein is actively working to improve its corporate image, focusing on supply chain transparency, compliance with US tariff regulations, and resolving allegations of design appropriation. In the face of regulatory and legislative scrutiny, especially concerning its Chinese roots and supply chain dependencies, Shein is undertaking measures to enhance its credibility.
Through its affiliation with Sparc, Shein gains not just mall-based retail avenues but also a potential ally in bolstering its legitimacy with U.S. authorities. For Forever 21, this partnership is an avenue to reestablish its appeal, particularly among the younger demographic who favor online shopping platforms.
Authentic Brands Group founder and CEO Jamie Salter said in a statement: "Shein's innovative consumer engagement strategies have set benchmarks for trend responsiveness. In a retail environment increasingly reliant on digital interaction, Shein has been a trailblazer in redefining brand-consumer relationships. This collaboration aligns seamlessly with our distribution strategy, ushering in new market opportunities for the brand."