White House Black Market is a 37-year-old American fashion retailer and multichannel brand that majorly deals in women’s clothing.
Founded in 1985, White House Black Market (WHBM) deals specifically in upscale clothing, with its headquarters in Fort Myers, Florida. WHBM is known for its quality clothing and accessories; it has been a go-to for women for nearly four decades.
WHBM, also known as Chico’s, sells a wide range of women’s clothing, jewelry, and accessories of good-enough quality.
If you are considering White House Black Market, you might want to read this review before you do. Here, we will answer some important questions concerning the brand, helping you decide if it is for you.
Overall, customer reviews say White House Black Market is a good brand with great customer service, although that needs a little improvement. Keep reading as we dissect this brand, including its history and values, to help you make an informed decision.
Is White House Black Market Good Quality?
The brand’s fashion offerings are very expensive. Still, they are worth it because the items are renowned for their quality. According to the reviews of customers who have used WHBM’s products, their quality is pretty high.
The brand intentionally designed most of its fashion pieces to be fairly cohesive, which is great for putting workplace outfits together. If you need fashion pieces that will last a while, you can consider the ones WHBM offers.
WHBM is built on the foundation of the most iconic contrast in fashion: black and white. This contradicting combination inspires every action the brand takes and perfectly reflects its customers. WHBM is geared toward the strong but subtle, hard-working but easy-going, and modern but timeless fashion enthusiast.
It empowers the modern female fashionista to embrace her complexity with feminine but strong and sensual but sophisticated looks.
When Was the White House Black Market Founded?
The history of WHBM started in 1985 when Patricia Smith and Richard Sarmiento opened the brand’s first store. The first store, The White House, was opened in Baltimore, Maryland, selling only women’s clothing in shades of white.
The brand has been performing well from the get-go, seeing to the fashion needs of upscale clientele of women. In 1991, WHBM started expanding nationally with the help of a North Carolina-based consulting firm, National Retail Group.
After ten years of selling only white merchandise, WHBM launched a new retail format called “Black Market” in 1995. Sarmiento performed a few experiments on both lines, housing the White House and Black Market under the same roof.
In 1997, his experiments succeeded, and the company began changing its existing stores to the new combination concept. WHBM remained a jointly-owned fashion company until 2003, when Chico’s FAS, Inc., purchased it.
After Chico’s purchased WHBM at $90, the company, which was originally privately held, became public. In 2007, Donna M. Noce became the company’s brand President; she had served as President of Ann Taylor LOFT before this time.
The brand became even more popular in 2008 when Michelle Obama co-hosted a TV talkfest, The View, wearing its Tank Leaf Print Dress. The dress, priced at $148, was sold overnight at the company’s worldwide boutique.
What Does White House Black Market Offer?
White House Black Market offers a wide range of fashion pieces that are targeted at women in particular. The company’s collections include jackets, dresses, swimwear, t-shirts, shoes, pants, accessories, and everyday essentials. Its key collections include the Iconic Black & White, featuring classic black and white clothing.
Its key collections include the WorkKit collection designed with seasonless black fabric and pants, jackets, shirts, and workplace accessories.
Additionally, WHBM offers a Wedding and Event Boutique collection, launched on 26th January 2015. The key piece in this collection is the company’s iconic “Genius dress,” featuring a design you can wear in different ways.
This collection also includes cocktail and party dresses, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories for bridesmaids. WHBM offers a rewards program that includes tier-based discounts, free shipping, promotions, and invitations to private sales.
The brand has had several celebrity endorsements, which have aided in putting it on the map. Celebrities who have worked with White House Black Market include models such as Linda Voitova, Allysa Miller, and Anne Vyalitsyna.
It also partnered with Lakshmi Menon in Holiday 2011, Ali Stephens in Spring/Summer 2011, and Naty Chabeneko in Holiday 2012, among others. Furthermore, a TV ad directed by Johan Renk featured Coco Rocha, a supermodel, wearing more than a dozen outfits from the WHBM WorkKit collection.
How Many Boutiques Does White House Black Market Have?
White House Black Market has over 400 boutiques in more than sixty cities across the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. On 24th October 2014, WHBM opened a store in Toronto, Canada; this was the brand’s first push at going international.
The brand had five stores across Canada on 31st January 2015, but it left the Canadian market in September 2020. During the pandemic and lockdown, White House Black Market closed all its Canadian locations and filed for bankruptcy.
Chico’s plans to close stores that are primarily mall-based Chico’s and WHBM boutiques that are underperforming. Meanwhile, the brand plans to close forty more stores in the 2022 fiscal year. This is saddening for regular customers of Chico’s, particularly because the stores are go-to destinations for most women. According to Market Screen, this report doesn’t state specifically which stores the brand is closing and when.
Nevertheless, you can purchase the brand’s iconic pieces at any of its offline boutiques or order them online. There is still a myriad of designs and styles you can purchase from the brand’s official website.
White House Black Market, founded in 1985, is an American fashion retailing company known for its high-quality fashion pieces. With over four hundred stores in different locations, the brand offers women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, among other things.
The WHBM Company is more than just color; it has an unwavering commitment to satisfying its customers. Thus, if you find WHBM to your liking, you can rest assured that you are getting good-quality fashion pieces.