Whether it was printing and selling t-shirts from his basement as a teenager or growing up to partner with local government officials and businesses for racial equality, Minneapolis community leader, entrepreneur and designer, Houston White has always shown up with a plan.
It’s a passion with a purpose that continues to elevate those around him. Now, Houston has new designs on bringing the community together with a new clothing collaboration launching this fall at Target – The Houston White for Target collection.
Inspired by his grandmother’s sense of style and ingenuity as well as his own passion for design, The Houston White for Target Collection is a reflection of Houston’s core beliefs about community, culture and style. He is his own creative incubator, bringing diverse people, cultures and communities together for the sole purpose of Black joy and pride.
White believes that style is the way we celebrate and express who we are. “It’s a means of asserting your point of view and bridging the distance between yourself and others.”
This can be seen in the new fall collection which features an array of bold colors, patterns and relaxed materials, specifically designed to celebrate self and style. “No matter where you are in your life, you can put on a fly outfit and feel good about yourself. It’s always about how you show up. That’s dope energy,” the designer notes.
The Jackson, Mississippi native attributes this vision and drive to his grandmother. “I grew up in the South and my grandmother used to make my clothes. I was struck by how she could bring an idea forward,” he says.
Igniting Black Excellence
Introducing Target’s guests to his new fashion line is a part of White’s long-term mission to bring together people of all identities, races, cultures, backgrounds and neighborhoods. He refers to it as, “igniting an inclusive celebration of Black culture in our communities.”
Target, which previously teamed with White on other projects to propel Black generational wealth and racial equality, offered White the chance to make the retail giant a home for his brand.
From Basement to Boardroom
Houston’s ongoing pursuit of Black Excellence began in Jackson, Mississippi.
After his parents divorced, his mother relocated the family to Minneapolis. White says he would spend summers juggling a make-shift basement t-shirt shop and working for the family’s drywall company.
Over the years Houston’s passion for making a difference in the community exploded. In 2008, he opened the doors to the upscale barbershop, Houston White’s Men’s Room.
The shop quickly became a popular destination for Minnesota Vikings and Timberwolves players, as well as Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. White’s barbershop quickly became a place to network, share ideas and get a stylish cut in the process.
Next, White would turn his passion for coffee into a flourishing business venture with Target. In 2020, Houston co-launched Get Down Coffee featuring irresistible flavored blends with catchy names such as Drip, Drip and Turntables Coffee.
The coffee’s grassroots popularity caught Target’s attention, who eventually made Houston’s brands available on store shelves.
But Houston didn’t stop there. He opened The Get Down Coffee Co. for caffeine-depleted drinkers. Located at 1500 N. 44th Ave in Minneapolis, guests can taste all of Houston’s creatively named flavors while listening to classic hip-hop.
With all of this and more brewing, Houston envisions a future that is promising, amazing and vibrant. From coffee to community outreach to his clothing line, he wants everything he creates to play an integral role in that vision of uplifting the Black community.
The new collection captures White’s spirit perfectly as it represents this hometown hero’s ongoing pursuit of Black Excellence.
“There’s a vibrant future that belongs to those who believe in Black excellence. Each of us are catalysts for change and our differences make us dope!”
The Houston White for Target Collection is now available only at Target.