The Chinese ultra-fast fashion giant has been accused by multiple brands — among them, AirWair International, who make Dr Martens shoes — of intellectual property infringement, reports the Financial Times. AirWair said in court filings that Shein had a “clear intent to sell counterfeits,” as exhibited by its listing of a “Martin boot” on the site, as well as more than 20 other styles. The company also accused Shein and sister site Romwe of both creating direct copies of its distinctive designs and using photographs of real Dr Martens shoes to compel customers to buy the low-cost alleged copies. Neither Shein nor AirWair immediately responded to BoF’s request for comment.
In May, reports flew around China’s financial media that Shein (which earlier in the year attempted and failed to acquire Topshop) was preparing for an IPO after its latest round of financing that reportedly valued the company at over 300 billion yuan ($46.8 billion). A spokesperson at the time told BoF that an IPO is still a year or two away and said the rumoured valuation was inaccurate.