After becoming the largest U.S. fast-fashion retailer, Shein has enlisted reality TV personality Khloé Kardashian, stylist Law Roach, fashion designer Christian Siriano, fashion designer Jenna Lyons and InStyle style director Laurel Pantin to judge its first Shein X 100K Challenge series, the retailer announced on Tuesday. The four-episode series begins on Aug. 22 and will end on Sept. 12.
As part of the series, five finalists from a group of 30 up-and-coming designers will be selected to compete in Los Angeles and work one-on-one with judges during the final challenge. The winning designer will receive $100,000, the company said.
Shein will feature the designer's creations during its Fall/Winter 2021 virtual fashion show. The retailer will share the Shein X 100K Challenge series on its mobile app and across its YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages, per the announcement.
The Shein X 100K Challenge launch is part of the retailer's efforts to highlight emerging designers.
Back in January, the retailer debuted its designer incubator program, Shein X, to establish partnerships with and promote up-and-coming talent. The program was developed to "offset recurring infringement issues within the industry" and offer a way for designers to grow their revenue streams, gain exposure and tap into a Gen Z audience.
Shein's digital series comes as the brand ascends to the top of fast-fashion retailers in the U.S. According to a report from Earnest Research, Shein's sales made up 28% of the U.S. fast-fashion market, exceeding competitors like H&M, Zara and Forever 21. Per research from Edited, Shein's sales rose by 250% from the year prior to $10 billion. The research firm attributed the retailer's popularity in part to catering to plus-size shoppers and rapidly adapting its designs to evolving consumer tastes.
But as Shein's U.S. sales spike, signs indicate that fast-fashion retail overall may be wavering. Last October H&M announced plans to close 250 stores, a pivot away from the retailer's previous plan to expand its international reach. Plus, UBS predicts that fast-fashion retailers' revenues could drop between 10% and 30% over the next five to ten years.