As someone who finds herself inside of a Target at least once a week on average (what can I say? It’s my happy place), I consider myself pretty familiar with their affordable-yet-fashionable clothing lines—and in addition to a long history as a model for the juggernaut in my pre-Root life, I’ve been known to surprise many a querying friend with a “Girl, this? It’s from Target!” (Come through, designer capsule collections!)
Granted, Target and I hail from the same birthplace—Minneapolis—so I had a decades-long jumpstart on the addictive nature of this superstore. Nevertheless, there’s still a thrill when I see the bullseye, and when I walked into my local Target recently and was greeted with their Black History Month assortment at the front door, I once again knew I was home—and that my “I just came here for one thing” budget was once again blown.
For those of you already in the know, Target’s talent for BHM swag isn’t new; in fact, we also swooned over last year’s collection. This year, the assortment is titled “Black Beyond Measure,” and “celebrates the success stories of various Black entrepreneurs, Black-owned businesses and company founders. The collection amplifies diversity and inclusivity,” Target tells The Glow Up.
“Black History Month is two things to me,” Director of Multicultural Merchandise at Target, Melanie Gatewood tells The Glow Up. “First, it is a moment to take pride in the amazing accomplishments and perseverance of the Black community—especially those untold stories. Second, it is a moment to reflect on my role in furthering the legacy and impact of Black culture. As it pertains to this assortment, that came through in the blending of items that pay homage to those who came before us with items that allow us to take ownership of driving Black history. A perfect example of this is the ‘I Am Black History’ t-shirt. It’s true—I am a part of Black history every day.”
And for those who had definite faves in last year’s assortment (for me, it was the icon tees in our header, which I am thrilled to see return), they’re back, with even more complementary designs. And the BHM collection doesn’t stop there: in addition to apparel, there are BHM offerings throughout Target’s assortments of accessories, beauty, home goods, food & beverage, stationery, music, books, toys (including Mattel’s Rosa Parks and Katherine Johnson Barbies) and more.
“The process started by looking at the items that truly resonated with our guests in last year’s assortment—both on social media as well as from a sales perspective. The items that were most impactful last year were the ones that highlighted individuals with lasting legacies—this is where the theme, ‘Success Stories: Black Beyond Measure,’ came from,” Gatewood explains. “The entire team of more than 20 team members came together to build an assortment that represented as many definitions of success as possible—including stories from entrepreneurs, artists, activists, poets, chefs and more.”
Now, as much as I love this year’s collection, the only point upon which Target and I might argue is on the origin of Mambo Sauce.
“Growing up in Baltimore, I would visit my sister in D.C. often, and Mambo Sauce is one of those nostalgic items that reminds me of those visits,” says Gatewood.
For the record, Mambo (also known as Mumbo) Sauce is actually a product of my current home city of Chicago, but we’ll let that pass because the rest of the assortment is so good, it deserves more than 28 days. In short: Once again, you hit this one in the bullseye, Target.