Fashion Design Major, Nicole Rivas, wanted something that combined art and sewing so she took one semester to explore different classes at Santa Ana College. She took a piano class, an art class and Beginning Sewing.
It was in the Beginning Sewing course, taught by the Chair of the Fashion Department, Kyla Benson, that inspired Rivas to pursue a degree in Fashion Design and in 2019, a partnership between SAC and SHEIN was presented to all fashion students. Rivas was one of two students to take this opportunity.
SHEIN made the SHEINX program for up-and-coming student designers. In order to take part in the collaboration with SHEINX, basic knowledge of Adobe Illustration to draw garments is required. Not only do students get to create their own collection, have their name on the SHEINX logo and tell their personal story at no upfront cost. The collaboration includes having their collection up for sale on the SHEINX website for one to three months.
It is hard to have your own fashion business because there are many expenses people do not consider. A typical designer must invest money before they can even design a collection. Needing thousands of dollars upfront to pay for material, a patternmaker, website set up and advertising. The opportunity to collaborate with SHEINX cuts out those costs.
While other fashion designers have about a month to create their collections, SHEIN gave Rivas a week and a half to finish her collection.
“My collection changed like 20 times in that week,” said Rivas.
Some of the limitations are that student designers may get only 10% of each transaction and once a collection is sold, they do not restock. It can take 5 months to get the collection up and running on the SHEINX website but you may only have a week or two to make your collection.
In other situations a designer can earn up to 30% in profit per collection, like Fashion Design Major, Carlos Marce, has collaborated with SHEIN four times since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
“I was very inspired by the current events such as the pandemic. I felt I could do something,” said Marce.
Although Marce didn’t feel ready for the SHEINX collaboration, with support from Professor Benson he took the chance. Using his experience as a Visual Merchandiser for the high end luxury brand ALLSAINTS at South Coast Plaza, he was able to make successful collections for SHEINX.
“After the SHEINX collaboration I realized this was my calling. Now I know what I want to do, I just need to keep pursuing,” says Marce.
Because of his SHEINX experience he has been able to freelance as a designer helping other local designers with their collections. All his collections are story lines on how he sees the world. SHEIN had a premiere after party and he showcased his designs and in return they paid for his Coachella trip. Marce is happy to see his art out in the world, every garment he has made on the SHEINX website has four point five stars or better.
“Everybody will thrive at their own pace,” said Marce.
This sounds like a great opportunity and in the Marce’s and Riva’s experience as designers for SHEINX it was a way to get their designs out in the world and gain experience without having to worry about cost.
Rivas took the opportunity to collaborate with SHEIN and to this day has no regrets. While working at Garfield High School, many students have asked Rivas if fashion design is a profitable career.
Rivas always answers in the same fashion, “If that’s your passion just explore fashion, at the end of the day anyone can get a Bachelors’ degree’.”
Fashion is ever-changing, trends change but the SAC fashion department continues to give students the opportunity to collaborate with SHEIN as a resource to get their designs out in the world.