E !: Tell us about your decision to partner with SHEIN on this challenge with aspiring fashion designers.
CS: I thought it would be a great opportunity because I was a mentor. I’ve worked with a lot of young designers. I have a lot of young designers working for me in my studio. I think it was just a really good opportunity to hopefully help this younger generation of designers. Let me tell you when I started it was tough. There were many things that I would have liked to have learned or known. So I wanted to be part of it, hopefully just lend a helping hand and share what the business really is like.
I want the younger generation of designers to feel that we are there to help them. Even without it, why are we still pushing ourselves? We all, in some way, push for the bigger, bigger picture.
E !: Are there any insights you’d like to share with young designers?
CS: You don’t have to be everything to everyone. You really need to make sure that you are your brand and that you are genuinely authentic. What you want to do is what you should be doing. In the beginning of my career, a lot of people told me what to do and I wish I had just done what I loved. If you love doing cool streetwear then this is what you should do. If you enjoy making prom dresses, this is what you should focus on. I think that sometimes young designers try too many things and then it doesn’t work. It is better if it is really authentic to her.
E !: What do you love about SHEIN?
CS: I think it’s very important to have a brand that can connect with their customers and what people want really quickly. SHEIN is really in the now, in the moment and very reactionary to a trend or an idea and I like that very much. I think that’s the really cool thing about it. You are always in the moment and I find that very interesting. Not many other brands can do that. This younger generation in particular loves SHEIN so much because they offer you exciting and accessible fashion. I think that is very important.
There is one customer who is really looking for something new, different and exciting. They want to change their wardrobe and have something new and cool, or maybe something that a fabulous actress just wore. I think it’s important that brands try to be as productive as possible and focus on the right things.
People who have a good style mix high, low, vintage and new pieces. I think that’s cool and makes someone stylish. There are many people who mix SHEIN items with designer items from their closets.