This Hispanic & Latin American Heritage Month, SHEIN is using its global platform to shine a spotlight on small businesses and local community.
The online retailer launched its newest Art Discovery program earlier this month, which aims to make art more accessible, use its resources to financially and promotionally support local businesses, and bring its fun, affordable shopping experience IRL.
The announcement culminated with a block party in El Monte, Los Angeles, over the weekend of September 25th. Artists and shoppers came together to view five commissioned large scale murals, shop a SHEIN sample pop up shop, and celebrate the community.
Jane Lee Fosburg, SHEIN’s director of brand partnerships who organized the event, explained the brand’s connection to El Monte with NYLON.
“Los Angeles County is where SHEIN first landed in the U.S., and it is home to many on the SHEIN team (our Brand Partnerships Coordinator was born in El Monte!),” she says. “So it only made sense to stay close to our roots this Hispanic Heritage Month. Our brand mission is to make the beauty of fashion accessible to all, and through SHEIN x Art Discovery, we want to carry that beauty through artwork, highlighting amazing Latinx artists right here in SHEIN’s backyard.
Even after the party was over, the program continues to provide El Monte residents access to these gorgeous, vibrant, pieces of art to enjoy whenever they want. “We are honored that SHEIN chose the city of El Monte as its first location to bring in the Art Discovery Project,” Jessica Ancona, the city’s mayor, said in a release. “There has been a need to bring art back into outdoor public places and we’re thrilled that SHEIN is commissioning five murals in our downtown area, which will liven the community with beautiful art.
SHEIN commissioned five artists, Alex Ali Gonzalez, Marisabel Bazan, Sergio Robleto, Teddy Kelly and Yai to paint the murals. Robleto, whose mural work can be seen all over Los Angeles, shared a bit more about his piece’s special meaning on instagram. “Titled ‘generations,’ this mural features members of @losangelesmariachis,” he wrote. “They are a family that goes back 4 generations playing music. This is a celebration of tradition, family and the love of music which is a universal language.”
Robleto, who praised SHEIN for not only the event and initiative but for its support of the featured artists (“incredibly helpful to all of us in our careers,” he told NYLON), also expanded on his experience creating the mural as well as the response.
“Every time I paint a public wall I’m fully aware of the responsibility I have to act as an extension of the community,” he said. “SHEIN made it a point to not only highlight us, but gave us the opportunity to be that extension. While some might paint to be decorative, I paint to create a silent dialogue that makes relevant connections. In this case, the goal was to celebrate Hispanic Heritage. Mariachi music is a Mexican tradition that has stood the test of time and has remained a fixture for hundreds of years. It's unmistakably Mexican.”
The need for more easily accessible art is clear based on the response Robleto has gotten since the mural was revealed. “I have received messages every day thanking me,” he told NYLON. “People express feeling a sense of pride and dignity when they see it. Women have felt represented, latinos have felt represented, and locals are absolutely grateful that they now have several beautiful murals in their community.”
In addition to the event, SHEIN also debuted a collection of clothing for sale on its website made exclusively in partnership 12 Latinx artists. The line includes accessories, home decor, clothing and is available to shop now.
SHEIN’s goal, it says, is to help revitalize communities and take the time to honor the culture and artistic contributions not just from our country’s major cities. “SHEIN x Art Discovery aims to continually empower creative artists, while bringing color and creativity to communities throughout the world,” Fosburg said. It’s refreshing to see a massive retailer using its platform to raise others up, during National Hispanic Heritage month and beyond.
Check out more images of the artwork below.