How Shein Became the Chinese Apparel Maker American Teens Love

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With $5 crop tops and $15 full-length dresses, the Chinese apparel company Shein is winning over America’s younger shoppers and offering proof that a clothing company from China can build a brand with traction in the West.

In the span of a few years, Chinese fast-fashion firm Shein, pronounced She-in, has developed a loyal following among American teens and 20-somethings with low prices, an ever-changing inventory, and partnerships with Instagram influencers and celebrities like Katy Perry and Lil Nas X.

“I would say 90% of my clothes come from Shein,” said Jennifer Cobo, a 20-year-old in Ashburn, Va., who started shopping on the app in 2018. Since then, she has converted others in her family into Shein fans, including her 51-year-old father, who buys his jeans from the app.

“Now my family buys as much as I do,” said Ms. Cobo, who estimates that she spends an average of $250 every month on the app.

Third-party suppliers say Shein has a sophisticated supply chain where orders are distributed to thousands of factories in China, enabling Shein to pump out new products at low prices.

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