Minneapolis community leader, entrepreneur partners with Target
The multi-year partnership with Houston White features menswear-inspired apparel and accessories that reflect White’s unique point of view.
MINNEAPOLIS — For more than a decade, Houston White’s business ventures have taken off in north Minneapolis.
It’s a place he’s always called home, and now, a lifelong passion is breathing a new life in Target stores across the country and online.
“The line is about 40-plus pieces. One of my favorites is a vest with a quilt pattern on the back, which is an homage to my grandmother,” said Houston White.
White has a community barbershop, clothing line and specialty coffee company. He’s also a longtime community leader, inspiring the next generation.
“I think I’ve always been in the clothing business. To be honest, I’ve always loved clothes,” said White. “My mom was a fashionista before I even knew what that term meant. I just used to see her spend time putting together outfits.”
“How did that Target partnership get started?” asked KARE 11’s Charmaine Nero.
“The Target partnership really started with conversations, I would like to talk about human connections, relationships between Jill Sando and myself, CEO Brian Cornell and really sitting down to talk about Target’s DEI strategies, hometown strategies, in early 2020.”
White says although he’s always been into fashion, it was all about figuring out how to build a brand that spoke to his lived experience and urban culture.
“I was in sixth grade; I used to wear neckties. I started making air-brushed t-shirts in the basement for our friends to wear together and it kept going,” White said. “And in the 90s, painting on pants and putting on rhinestones — so it’s always been a thing.”
“You started to talk about the inspiration a little bit, but what inspired you to make clothing that spoke to the way that you grew up and what you know?” asked Nero.
“Well, because I felt like it was missing,” White said. “The reason why I make golf clothes is because I didn’t see my culture represented. For me, this is my take on American style.”
In 2020, Target committed to spending more than $2 billion to support Black-owned creators and designers by 2025 through their Racial Equity Action and Change committee also known as REACH.
“Target is known for one-of-a-kind, accessible collaborations with talented designers who are shaping style and culture, and our newest Houston White x Target apparel and accessories brand is another amazing partnership we’re exclusively bringing to guests this fall, said Jill Sando, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Target. “Houston is a valued, longtime partner who shares our belief in joyful self-expression and celebrating the beauty of diversity through style. This multi-year brand will offer a modern take on American style with a mix of timeless, versatile and on-trend pieces we know our guests will love.”
“It’s a dream come true,” said White. “We had a one-hour sale, sort of the QVC for millennials, and so that sold out in 20 minutes and that was pretty awesome.”
While White’s clothing line is still available in stores and online, he continues to make a difference in the community and offers inspiration and advice to a new generation of entrepreneurs.
“There are billions of people in the world but not one with your fingerprint, and what you have to offer is special,” said White.
To check out Houston White’s line, visit the website here.
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