Welcome to The Week in Direct-to-Consumer, a weekly roundup for marketers from Quad Insights that sums up the latest news in the DTC space.

Shein launches partnered collection with U.S. Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross

Timed to International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, global DTC fast-fashion brand/retailer Shein has launched a partnership with U.S. track and field Olympic gold medalist and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Sanya Richards-Ross, alongside her mother and sister. The Shein x Sanya Richards-Ross collection — which features 30 styles priced from $3.99 to $36.09 — “boasts vibrant dresses, colorful tops and fashionable accessories that all embody the essence of empowerment and style,” per the announcement. Also, as part of the launch, Shein is donating $50,000 to MommiNation, a virtual organization dedicated to mothers of color that Richards-Ross founded in 2019.

The takeaway: The timing of this partnership makes sense as Richards-Ross is one of the most decorated track athletes in U.S. history, and she is expected to return as a broadcast analyst for the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

See also: New Balance also just announced a collection in partnership with a U.S. track and field star — Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, as we noted in last week’s installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer.

See also: Back in November, Shein filed for an IPO in the U.S., as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer. However, Bloomberg reports that due to Shein’s Chinese roots, the process has met some hurdles in the U.S. and the company may be assessing alternative IPO options as a result.

U.S. regulators and legislators call for stiffer DTC spirits shipping regulations

U.S. regulators and legislators are calling for stiffer DTC spirits regulations as data suggests a lack of ID verification across the DTC alcohol purchasing and delivery process, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) notes in a new release. The WSWA cites findings from several states, including a 2023 study by the Massachusetts Alcohol Beverage Commission that found 96% of e-commerce platforms accepted DTC orders from a 15-year-old consumer — and no shipments checked an ID upon delivery. A number of states, including Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee, have brought legal action against out-of-state violators of their importation or transportation of alcohol state laws, but the current regulation landscape continues to see DTC alcohol vendors “circumventing regulators and the health and safety of the public,” per the WSWA.

The takeaway: With this announcement, the WSWA continues its efforts to raise pressure surrounding DTC alcohol sales. In January, the WSWA released survey results in which one in four U.S. adults said their IDs weren’t checked when receiving orders purchased through DTC alcohol vendors, as we noted in a prior edition of 10 marketing, media and industry statistics to know now.

Warby Parker offers free safety glasses for upcoming eclipse

With the total solar eclipse coming to North America April 8, DTC eyewear brand Warby Parker will offer free eclipse safety glasses in all of its store locations beginning April 1, Retail TouchPoints’ Adam Blair reports. Customers unable to visit a Warby Parker store can download a printing template for a do-it-yourself eclipse pinhole projector, Blair notes, adding that the eclipse will be “the last total solar eclipse that’s visible from the contiguous U.S. for the next 20 years.”

The takeaway: This timely giveaway seems destined to boost Warby Parker’s brick-and-mortar foot traffic as well as engagement with the brand’s socials.

Ōura launches on Amazon

DTC smart accessories brand Ōura just launched on Amazon, making the Ōura Heritage and Horizon health and wellness tracking smart rings available on its new Amazon brand store. With the move, Ōura — which launched a partnership with Best Buy in April of last year — continues its retail expansion strategy. “We’re excited to share our brand’s story and engage with Amazon customers in compelling new ways,” said Ōura CMO Doug Sweeny in the company announcement.

The takeaway: Ōura’s channel expansion effort comes as competition in the wearable health tracking tech space continues to heat up. Last week at SXSW in Austin, Texas, a Samsung executive panel discussed the future of AI, wellness and wearables, highlighting the newly unveiled Galaxy ring.

Further reading

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