Last Sunday, the dark and thundering clouds that hung over the city of Atlanta for 14 long years finally parted to reveal a blindingly bright ray of sunshine: She by Shereé, in all its glory.
Even for those who are not religious, the highlight of a meme more than a decade in the making is enough to consider a higher power. That is because Real Housewives of Atlanta star Shereé Whitfield walking down the catwalk in triumphant slow motion during her highly anticipated, highly anticipated fashion show resemble Jesus left his grave early to silence the girls – it was better.
Yes, after almost 15 years, She by Shereé is finally on the market. And how wonderful that Shereé’s infamous joggers have finally seen the light of day in September-spring-summer! But it wouldn’t be a Shereé Whitfield event if there wasn’t an unexpected catastrophe to balance the cheers. The show may have run smoothly at the last minute, but the line’s simultaneous online launch was far from smooth. This disconnect is unique to Shereé, and it’s what this season finale of . made Real Housewives of Atlanta a beautiful messy masterpiece.
For those who don’t have all 8,904 hours (yes, I just did the math) of Bravo’s most consistently gorgeous housewives franchise to understand what we are talking about today let me give you some explanation.
The first thing to know is that Shereé Whitfield is the most ingeniously brilliant person to ever walk this earth, so write that down. Once that’s in your margin, we can move on. From the moment she joined Real Housewives of Atlanta in season 1, Shereé was outspoken about her love of fashion. By season 2, she was chatting about creating her own fashion line, She by Shereé. A catastrophic series of events (unpaid designers, poor quality monsters, and an ego bigger than the entire state of Georgia – typical housewives stuff) led to a mediocre She by Shereé fashion presentation, after which the brand faded into the franchise’s folklore.
That is, until Shereé rejoined the cast in seasons 9 and 10, the latter of which had a reunion moment that made meme history. When Andy Cohen asked Shereé about the status of her line, the answer stumbled out of her mouth in an almost burp of terror. “JOGGERS…‘ she said, stroking her ponytail for comfort like a therapy dog. “It’s more lifestyle…yes, athletic. But lifestyle.” When Cohen followed with a simple “When?”, Shereé replied with a great gift of mages: “Um, probably… more September. Or, um. That’s, um, spring-summer. September sho show, spring -summer.”
Unfortunately for Shereé, it was a verbal misstep-turned-viral moment, enough to force Shereé “Whitty” Whitfield to consider her options: let it go as a slightly embarrassing meme and learn to laugh at herself, or come back stronger with a full She by Shereé line and a real fashion show to boot.
Four years later, after another series of delayed samples and accusations of not paying her employees, Shereé defied all odds when the lights dimmed and She by Shereé stormed the runway. The line featured everything from Shereé’s famous joggers to sports bras and sweaters — all with different shapes of clunky ruffles and awkward bunching. But with everyone expecting the worst, it was more than enough to call the show a runaway runway success.
All Shereé had to do was tie the episode’s eventual airing months later to a successful e-commerce launch. Fans of the show and staunch Shereé supporters like me were ready to burn our dollars. A quick refresh of the brand’s website after the credits rolled out was disturbing to say the least.
The homepage took about two minutes to fully load in my mobile browser, and when it did, none of the buttons worked. I furiously tapped “SHOP” with my hot little thumbs up, 500 times, screaming and crying like the empath that I am, and felt Shereé’s momentary panic and pain.
I figured if I was smart enough to get around this technological mishap by typing the homepage URL slash “shop”, I’d start looking at my joggers first. Instead, it led me to what appeared to be an error page for a 2002 Xanga or Angelfire site. Another knife to the heart. Why Shereé didn’t just create a chic Squarespace domain with a sleek, ready-made template is beyond me, but I’m not the brilliant couturier.
After the season finale ended, it took about 90 minutes for the ecommerce portion of the site to finally go live. When that happened, I have to admit that I was shy about the price: $125 for a pair of joggers was a price slightly higher than the $50 I was willing to shell out for shipping. After considering whether or not I would be That committed to the bit, I decided to bite the bullet – only to find out the site had crashed again.
I decided to put my Special Joggers on hold and tuck myself in for a wonderful, restful sleep, knowing Shereé had done it. But the next day, I woke up to accusations that Shereé was buying wholesale fast fashion items already sold on sites like Shein and Amazon, then equipping them with her logo to raise the price by 20 percent.
Suddenly the price made perfect sense. Shereé selling $7 workout sets for $125 is a steal! Adding the Whitfield decal to an item will automatically increase the value by 350 percent, which I know from years of watching religiously shark cage– and I know the sharks agree! It’s really basic math. Keep it up, internet sleuths.
“Anyone who follows Shereé Whitfield knows that everything I do is quality,” Shereé said Women’s Health after the Twitter detective allegations came to light. “I am quality.” And she’s absolutely right! A Canal Street fake bag may look the same as the real thing, but the stitching will pop in two weeks. She by Shereé is custom couture, one of the biggest maisons in Paris and Milan. I would trust Shereé Whitfield with my life, so of course I trust her to guarantee the quality of a sweatpants.
As for the site crash, Shereé said: Women’s Health“It sounds bad, but it’s actually a good thing.” While I disagree, Shereé has access to a world and knowledge that we don’t, so I’m confident she’s making the right choice. Now if only she could find a few good web developers instead of who I suppose made her site, her Italian mastiff, Gotti.
“This is just another example of over-promising and under-delivery,” Shereé said of her developers’ assurances that the site can handle up to 300,000 users. “But I am so grateful. I stand in prayer; I get chills just thinking about how many people are still interested right now.”
And as much as I like to joke, giggle and kick my feet in the air with glee at these things, that statement really moves me. I’ve written before about my love for all things Shereé, she even went as far as sweating 8 gallons in 90 degree heat to find a bag of potato chips she adores.
There’s just something about The Whitfield Mystique that I find endlessly captivating. I think it’s her perseverance to prove that she can go the extra mile and be successful – not just for her fellow housewives and for the world, but for herself as well. She by Shereé is here after 14 long years, and despite some bumps in the road, there is no other way but forward. And when the site finally goes live again in 2028, I’ll be first in line to buy my $125 sweatpants.