A Black fashion designer is calling out Shein for stealing one of her designs. Elyon Adede, who is the founder and creative director of Elexiay, shared on Twitter that Shein copied the design of her Amelia sweater, a pink and green crossbody colorblock crocheted sweater.
“Tonight I feel crushed, @SHEIN_official has stolen my Amelia sweater design,” Adede tweeted. “Spent hours designing and brainstorming this design and it takes days to crochet each sweater. It’s quite disheartening to see my hard work reduced to a machine made copy.”
On Instagram, she pointed out how much time and effort her Nigeria-based staff of all-female artisans put into making the Amelia sweater, which took four to five days. The Amelia sweater costs $330 while its copycat version was being sold on SHEIN for $17. The sweater has been removed from the SHEIN website.
Elexiay is a Lagos-based clothing line that is focused on preserving Nigerian craftsmanship by selling handmade, crotched clothes. They do not use any machines when making their made-to-order clothing in order to “cause little to no harm to the environment.”
Adede told Insider that besides being highly offended that Shein would steal their design, she is against what happens at that brand behind the scenes.
“Even more so in this case since Shein is known for its unethical labor practices, which is the opposite of what I stand for,” Adede said. “I wanted to make a statement to bring raise awareness and educate our customers and the public that there are real people who are impacted when our designs are stolen.”
Shein has been accused of stealing designs from other independent fashion brands in the past as well.