Who is the man to wear SHEIN for your teenage daughter, the world’s fastest growing online store?

American singer and songwriter Tinashe in May this year at “SHEIN Together Fest” in Los Angeles, USA.Getty Images

Shein is the name, pronounced She In: The world’s fastest growing e-commerce company that is a leading supplier of young people, who buy girls and women in 220 countries. Shein is a mix of trendy little things, for less than half what it cost at Zara or Mango – think pants for 7 euros and dresses for ten. But in addition to the name of the app and website becoming known within a decade, the man behind the brand is very mysterious.

His surname is Xu, and he was born in 1984 in Shandong Province, China. The mysterious founder of Shein goes by the different first names Yangtian, Chris, and Sky. In the early years of this century, he was involved in SEO: search engine optimization for the Chinese company Alldao. He then runs the Dianwei website with partners Wang Xiaohu and Li Peng (the later founder of rival Shein Romwe), which sells cheap fakes and makes smart use of the consumer data it produces.

wedding dress

In 2009, without saying goodbye to Xiaohu and now Peng, he began selling bridal wear online, which he had made to measure using measurements provided by customers. In 2012, Xu bought the domain name sheinside.com, which he shortened to shein.com in 2015 with which he managed to generate massive sales in less than ten years.

This raises a lot of questions, first of all in Asia. news site krASIA.comdedicated to startups and tech companies in China, Southeast Asia and India, is trying to arrange an interview with mystery man Shaw, but gets zero on the bill. Like chairs– The reporter asks to speak to at least one PR person afterwards, and informs Xu that he is free to write whatever he wants about Shein, but he will be sued as long as there is nothing to match her.

From the huge article consisting of three parts Decode SheinWhich chairs Then I’m forced to write about Shein’s site without first-hand information, and fortunately the reader becomes wiser. Also publications from the business site fashion business and trade bulletin can not handle it Highlight what is necessary. For example, Xu graduated from Qingdao University of Science and Technology in 2007 and then moved to Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province. Our R&D departments are located in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hangzhou on the east coast of China, close to factories that produce clothing, making chess fast and easy.

thoughtful strategy

Remarkably: SHEIN has the clothes made in tiny tufts of a hundred pieces for each design. Garment factories usually have a problem with this. After all, the more the same block, the easier it is to rush, but Xu has an advantage because he pushes well, honestly and on time. These little tufts are well thought out. If an item is not registered, Xu will not be left in bulk unsold. If an item works, more variants can be made quickly, in other colors, with longer sleeves or a different hem, and that works.

With Xu’s background in data analysis, he knows exactly what the customer wants. His main assistant is not a skilled creator, but the Google Trend Finder. If there is a lot of googling on “lace,” “diamond,” or “lilac,” he directs the design team to look for it, and if the numbers prove themselves (again), another bloom of lilac squares will follow. with lace. At Shein, it’s not the designer who wears the pants, but the customer. And it turned out to be paying off.


Thanks to this foreknowledge and this proximity to factories, Shein can also switch faster than light. By way of comparison: With a popular fashion label like Prada or Paul Smith, there are three months between design and delivery. At fast fashion chains like Zara and H&M, the journey from the design counter to the store takes three weeks. With Shane’s fashion in real time, this trip takes three days to a week just to get the most elaborate items. And it is, Shine advertises under the heading “Social Responsibility” on his site, with above-average salaries for employees, who work in a safe, clean, happy and productive environment.

The final secret behind Shein’s success is serendipitous: the Covid pandemic. While brick shops all over the world closed and textile mills lay on their backs, production continued at Shin. In the Pearl River Delta, where the majority of Shen’s clothing is made, the coronavirus outbreak hasn’t been that bad. Add to that the fact that young people all over the world have been bored to death and spend the whole day at home spying on their phones.

Shein showed himself there, on Tiktok, Pinterest, and Instagram. Through ads and via micro-influencers: little girls with ten or twenty thousand followers who wear free SHEIN clothes and can treat their entourage at a discount code. Once you become a SHEIN customer, you are literally and figuratively sold. The huge selection and the sheer speed with which new items are constantly being introduced, right down to banana-shaped headwear for cats, proves to be addictive. A quick snack buffet that will never run out.

3 x Shein

A year after Shein started, Xu announced on Facebook that he had fifty employees. In 2016, this number increased to 800, and today 10,000 people work in Xu. Over the course of eight consecutive years, his company has grown more than 100 percent.

The site is #1 in terms of web traffic in fashion and apparel, leaving brands like Nike, Zara, and Adidas with a smile. rotation? Last year, it amounted to 63.5 billion yuan, which is more than 8 billion euros.

Shein was founded in Nanjing, not as Shaw initially claimed, in North Brunswick, New Jersey. The headquarters is still located in Nanjing. Outside of China, there are two logistics centers in the United States, one in India and one in Liege, Belgium.

Leave a Comment