Shein Reportedly Keeps Option to List in Hong Kong as Backup

This photo taken on June 11, 2024 shows employees walking through the lobby of the fast fashion e-commerce company Shein outside its office in Guangzhou in southern China's Guangdong province. (Photo by Jade GAO / AFP)
This photo taken on June 11, 2024 shows employees walking through the lobby of the fast fashion e-commerce company Shein outside its office in Guangzhou in southern China's Guangdong province. (Photo by Jade GAO / AFP)
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Shein Reportedly Keeps Option to List in Hong Kong as Backup

This photo taken on June 11, 2024 shows employees walking through the lobby of the fast fashion e-commerce company Shein outside its office in Guangzhou in southern China's Guangdong province. (Photo by Jade GAO / AFP)
This photo taken on June 11, 2024 shows employees walking through the lobby of the fast fashion e-commerce company Shein outside its office in Guangzhou in southern China's Guangdong province. (Photo by Jade GAO / AFP)

Online fast-fashion group Shein is keeping alive a fallback option to list in Hong Kong despite filing for a London listing, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the situation.
The company confidentially filed papers with Britain's markets regulator in June, two sources told Reuters on Monday, kicking off the process for a potential London listing later this year.
The news has triggered strong opposition from human rights groups in the UK over concerns about Shein's labor practices. Amnesty International UK said the potential London initial public offering would be a "badge of shame" for the LSE.
Shein's plans remain in flux and there is no certainty that it will end up listing in London even if that is the company's current focus, the FT report said.
The company did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Shein, which was valued at $66 billion in a fundraising round last year, began to explore a listing on the London Stock Exchange early this year, Reuters reported in May, citing sources. Its original plan to list in New York came unstuck following opposition from US lawmakers.
Some senior British lawmakers have also questioned Shein's suitability and called for greater scrutiny of its labor practices, supply chain and use of an import tax exemption.



80-year-old LL Bean Staple Finds New Audience as Trendy Bag

Gracie Wiener poses with some of her tote bags in Washington Square Park in New York, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)
Gracie Wiener poses with some of her tote bags in Washington Square Park in New York, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)
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80-year-old LL Bean Staple Finds New Audience as Trendy Bag

Gracie Wiener poses with some of her tote bags in Washington Square Park in New York, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)
Gracie Wiener poses with some of her tote bags in Washington Square Park in New York, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)

L.L. Bean created it 80 years ago to haul heavy blocks of ice. Now it's a must-have summer fashion accessory, The Associated Press reported.

The simple, sturdy canvas bag called the Boat and Tote is having an extended moment 80 years after its introduction, thanks to a social media trend in which they're monogrammed with ironic or flashy phrases.

New Yorker Gracie Wiener helped get it started by ordering her humble bags from L.L. Bean monogrammed with “Psycho” and then “Prada,” the pricey Italian luxury brand, instead of just her name or initials, and posting about them on Instagram. Then others began showcasing their own unique bags on TikTok.

Soon, it wasn’t enough to have a bag monogrammed with “Schlepper,” “HOT MESS,” “slayyyy” or “cool mom.” Customers began testing the limits of the human censors in L.L. Bean’s monogram department, which bans profanity “or other objectionable words or phrases,” with more provocative wording like “Bite me,” “Dum Blonde” and “Ambitchous.”

Social media fueled the surge, just as it did for Stanley’s tumblers and Trader Joe’s $2.99 canvas bags, which were once selling on eBay for $200, said Beth Goldstein, an analyst at Circana, which tracks consumer spending and trends.
The tote’s revival came at a time when price-conscious consumers were forgoing expensive handbags, sales of which have weakened, and L.L. Bean’s bag fit the bill as a functional item that’s trendy precisely because it’s not trendy, she said. L.L. Bean's regular bags top out at about $55, though some fancier versions cost upward of $100.
“There’s a trend toward the utilitarian, the simple things and more accessible price points,” she said, and the customization added to the appeal: “Status items don’t have to be designer price points.”

L.L. Bean’s tote was first advertised in a catalog as Bean’s Ice Carrier in 1944 during World War II, when ice chests were common. Then they disappeared before being reintroduced in 1965 as the Boat and Tote.

These days, they’re still made in Maine and are still capable of hauling 500 pounds of ice, but they are far more likely to carry laptops, headphones, groceries, books, beach gear, travel essentials and other common items.

Those snarky, pop-oriented phrases transformed them into a sassy essential and helped them spread beyond Maine, Massachusetts’ Cape Cod and other New England enclaves to places like Los Angeles and New York City, where fashionistas like Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Jessica Parker are toting them — but not necessarily brandished with ironic phrases.

“It’s just one of those things that makes people smile and makes people laugh, and it’s unexpected,” said Wiener, who got it all started with her @ironicboatandtote Instagram page, which she started as a fun side hustle from her job as social media manager for Air Mail, a digital publication launched by former Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Graydon Carter.

The folks at L.L. Bean were both stunned and pleased by the continuing growth. For the past two years, the Boat and Tote has been L.L. Bean’s No. 1 contributor to luring in new customers, and sales grew 64% from fiscal years 2021 to 2023, spokesperson Amanda Hannah said.

The surge in popularity is reminiscent of L.L. Bean’s traditional hunting shoe, the iconic staple for trudging through rain and muck, which enjoyed its own moment a few years back, driven by college students.