Bankrupt high fashion designer Alice McCall has brushed off critics who criticized her collaboration with a Chinese fast fashion giant.
While the Australian brand believes its return will attract a “broader audience”, “embarrassed” and “devastated” fans have criticized the decision, saying it goes against everything the company stands for.
In response to the backlash, founder Alice McCall told FEMAIL: “Everyone has the right to express their views. I’m just very focused on launching this collection that I really believe in.
The label was founded in 2004 but struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic before going into liquidation in February due to a million-dollar debt to creditors.
The pieces were regularly featured on red carpets and in high fashion editorials for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle and the brand was loved for what many described as its “playful sensibility”.
Customers were left “shocked and embarrassed” after Australian fashion brand Alice McCall announced a collaboration with Chinese brand Shein.
Following Monday’s announcement, fans flocked to Instagram and X to share their thoughts and shock.
On X, one person wrote: “Absolutely devastating to see what Alice McCall has become.”
Another said she was “absolutely devastated”.
Following Monday’s announcement, fans flocked to Instagram and X to share their opinions.
“Alice McCall x Shein is so embarrassing…why would you tank your own brand like that?” we wrote.
“A designer who went bankrupt decides to collaborate with an underground factory,” said another.
“Absolutely devastating to see what Alice McCall has become,” added a third on X.
On Instagram, one commenter wrote: “The Alice McCall brand is making one of the most disappointing moves in a desperate attempt to make money. Having to disable comments on the Instagram post only an hour after posting is the icing on the cake.
Another said he was “shocked and enraged” by the decision.
Speaking about the backlash, Ms McCall (pictured) told FEMAIL that “everyone has the right to express their views”. “I’m very focused on launching this collection that I really believe in,” she said.
However, Ms McCall said: “This collaboration will allow a whole new audience, who may not have been able to afford an Alice McCall piece in the past, the opportunity to purchase a piece that is just as good as anything I’ve created previously. .
“One of my principles as a designer is to create clothes that last and I have carried this philosophy into the pieces in this collection.
“A highlight for me with this collection was that, for the first time in my two decades as a designer, I was able to work with reclaimed fabrics and I also used recycled polyester in this collection. »
“This collaboration will allow a whole new audience, who may not have been able to afford an Alice McCall play in the past, to purchase a play that is just as good as anything I have created before,” Ms. McCall said.
The collection launches on November 16 in Australia, New Zealand and the United States with prices ranging from $15 for a bralette to $120 for a dress.
“I’ve always resonated with the idea that my designs could become accessible to a wider audience, so when the opportunity to collaborate with SHEIN presented itself, I felt like I was able to transform this vision into reality,” added Ms. McCall.
“A highlight for me was that, for the first time in my two decades as a designer, I was able to work with reclaimed fabrics and I also used recycled polyester in this collection.
“The styles are fresh, refined, easy to wear and obviously Alice.”
One fan criticized the brand’s sustainability claims and said polyester was not an eco-friendly material.
“Since the designers are well-versed in Shein’s practices, polyester as a fabric is just plastic and is in no way sustainable, eco-friendly, or ethical, this collaboration smacks of just making it do to make money,” the Instagram comment read.
A Shein spokesperson said: “Alice McCall’s feminine and seductive collection, coupled with her use of premium materials, such as reclaimed fabrics, will be a hit with many customers around the world. »
A Shein spokesperson said: “We’re always looking for ways to bring customers more of what they love.
“Alice McCall’s feminine and seductive collection, combined with her use of favored materials, such as reclaimed fabrics, will be a hit with many customers around the world.”
The collection launches on November 16 in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, with prices ranging from $15 for a bralette to $120 for a dress.
The collection includes reclaimed textiles from Shein’s partnership with Queen of Raw, a global circular economy technology company.
Shoppers can expect pastels, floral prints, nods to ’70s Italian lingerie, Art Nouveau-inspired pieces and more in the women’s collection.
In November 2020, Alice McCall moved into voluntary administration.
In a statement posted to Instagram, Ms McCall said: “After two decades, I have come full circle with the Alice McCall brand. It’s time to close the doors, to make way for a new chapter in my life.
“I want to thank you and everyone who has worn, supported and loved the brand over the years.”
It was also reported that McCall owed more than $1 million to his creditors, more than half of which was owed to the Australian Taxation Office.