how dreadful

She by Shereé: A Complete History

She did it! Kind of! Photo: Bravo

Queen Elizabeth II can rest peacefully knowing she’s left her constituents in a world where She by Shereé is available for purchase to the general public. It’s rumored the last thing she saw before closing her eyes one final time was a wrinkled “Who Gone Check Me Boo?” T-shirt she was trying to order for Meghan Markle. We’ll never know if Lilibet’s order went through, though, because shortly after going live, the She by Shereé website crashed, unprepared for the “overwhelming” response. Fourteen years was seemingly insufficient time to prepare for the millions of fans who have been waiting for this moment since Shereé first uttered her dreams of creating her own fashion line back in 2008.

Even with the line now (somewhat) available for purchase, the story continues to unfold. Aside from the site not working, customers and fans have been having a field day on social media regarding the price and quality of the clothing. There are accusations of stealing designs; there are unironed $142 T-shirts with phrases like “Living My Best Life.” I’m not sure anyone outside of Andy Cohen has received their order yet, and there’s already so much to digest. Thankfully, I’m here to walk you through a complete and exhaustive timeline of She by Shereé.

Humble Beginnings (1970–2007)
Born in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, on January 2, 1970, Shereé had dreams of moving from the middle class to the upper class. In 2000, she married Bob Whitfield, who at the time played for the Atlanta Falcons. They would go on to have two children together, Kairo and Kaleigh, and Bob became a father figure for Tierra, Shereé’s daughter from a previous relationship. The union ended in divorce in 2007, right when Shereé joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

A Fashion Show Without Fashions, How Dreadful (2008)
As she told us on the premiere of RHOA in 2008, she was ready to show the world exactly who Shereé is. To her, creating a line was a natural extension of her childhood dreams of being a designer, but while married to Bob she felt unsupported in the endeavor, so it was the perfect project to begin post-divorce. We watched her frantically looking at sketches (not drawn by her) and consulting with myriad advisers, describing her dream line as consisting of “sexy, classy pieces.”

In hopes of eventually becoming a household name, Shereé worked with sketch artist Noel to start creating mid-aughts fashions featuring lots of baby-doll dresses and empire waists — or, at least, that’s what it appeared to be based on the black-and-white line sketches and occasional fabric swatch. Her preparation culminated in a “fashion viewing,” terminology purposely chosen to lower the stakes. The day before the viewing, Shereé found a plastic bag of clothing on her front step containing samples that she (correctly) said looked horrible and cheap, with tacky buttons and exposed elastic bands. Shereé promptly called the seamstress to cuss her out and made the executive decision to move forward with the viewing despite having nothing to present besides blown-up sketches.

On the day of the event, Shereé was determined to keep her game face. There were ice sculptures, naked models covered only by body paint, a red carpet, and a step-and-repeat. The only sight of anything She by Shereé was her logo plastered on the wall and on the male models’ bodies. This didn’t faze Shereé, because according to her, she never explicitly said what was being viewed.

After the viewing, as NeNe, Shereé’s perennial frenemy, and Dwight, the shadiest friend-of Housewives has seen, discussed the event neither of them attended, Dwight made history by delivering one of the most well-known Housewives quotes of all time: “Who was this wonderful person that was giving a fashion show without fashions? How dreadful.”

Who Gon’ Check Me Boo? (2009–2012)
At the first-season reunion, Shereé told Andy to look for a launch in fall ’09, and at that moment no one could predict the extent to which Dwight’s quote would haunt Shereé until her departure from the series following season four.

She by Shereé continued into her season-two story line as she took a second stab at putting on a fashion show, this time with Mercedes-Benz promoting it. Having already solidified herself as one of the most iconic Real Housewives in the season premiere through her delivery of the line “Who gon’ check me, boo?” to an ornery party planner, it’s around this time She by Shereé began to evolve into the longest-running Housewives business that never was.

Once again, she met with models and attended to everything but the actual fashion. In the seventh episode, she found out that Mercedes-Benz felt the event was too big, so she was forced to find another venue and event planner to help with the debut. She turned to Dwight to take charge weeks before the show, and she ventured to New York to view the samples. Once again, the samples weren’t to her liking, but after revisions, she received pieces ready to show Dwight, who was still unimpressed.

The show was mostly successful, despite Shereé butting heads with Dwight, and featured real models in real clothes. At the reunion, she told Andy to expect her clothing in stores “spring/summer 2010.” But although her end-of-season update revealed that she presented her line at NYFW, after RHOA’s second season, She by Shereé took a back seat — other than Dwight going into season three with accusations of unpaid labor. She finished out her first tenure as a Housewife focusing on her dating life, “acting career,” and the construction of Chateau Shereé.

Housewife No Longer (2013–2014)
Season four marked the end of Shereé’s first run as a full-time Housewife. She departed, stating that the show “no longer fit” her lifestyle, though other media outlets stated that she was actually fired. It’s important to note during this time she was also dealing with a slew of lawsuits against bloggers for allegedly trespassing on her property. During her first hiatus, Shereé did an appearance on WWHL where Andy asked about her line, to which she responded that She by Shereé was “on hold” as she focused on family and business.

Spring, Summer, or September (2015–2017)
Shereé made her first return to the show in season eight, coming in as a friend-of. At this time, She by Shereé was entrenched in Housewives lore, and her story line was focused on her ongoing feud with Kenya, the construction of her home, and her personal life with Bob.

By season nine, when Shereé rejoined the cast full-time, Chateau Shereé was still under construction, and just like with her clothing line, Shereé blamed contractors and planners and anyone but herself for the delay. Honestly, the journey to Chateau Shereé’s completion is another timeline in itself, so I’ll leave it at that. Since season nine is one of the darkest seasons in RHOA history, there wasn’t much room to ponder She by Shereé as a sexual-assault accusation rippled through the cast.

Holding onto her peach for another year, Shereé went into season ten in full Housewife mode. She opened up like never before regarding her abusive relationship with Bob; she tried out new wigs, cussed out party planners, dated convicts, “wrote” a book, and took the crown as the Bone Collector. Aside from a deal with Nordstrom in 2017 to sell limited-edition “Who Gon’ Check Me Boo” shirts, She by Shereé was flung to the sidelines.

That is, until Andy Cohen brought up the line at the reunion, prompting an exchange that was historic, to say the least:

Andy: What happened to She by Shereé?
Shereé: Joggers.
Andy: Excuse me?
Shereé: Joggers … it’s more lifestyle.
Andy: Are you saying you’re doing a line of She by Shereé athleticwear?
Shereé: Yeah, athletic but lifestyle.
Andy: When?
Shereé: Probably more September for, uh … that is … spring/summer. September spring show … spring/summer.
NeNe: 🙄

Put on Pause (2018–2021)
Following season ten, Shereé was fired put on pause. Although she was no longer on TV screens, fans still barraged her with questions about She by Shereé in the wake of her stutter-filled declaration at the reunion. In November 2018, she shared an exclusive with Us Magazine, complete with photographs of her in the clothing … none of which was available for purchase. But she was quoted as saying, “I’m a perfectionist. I don’t believe in rushing things — greatness takes time.” I guess.

She also released a “teaser” video for the line, but when people went to the website to purchase, they were met with a message saying “Coming soon.” Spoiler alert: It did not arrive soon. The person who produced the video quickly called out Shereé as a “thirsty thief,” alleging he was not paid for his services and didn’t even know the video would be posted. He also said the shoot went on five hours longer than intended and the clothes were garments she purchased herself.

Guess Who’s Back, Back Again (2022)
In 2022, Shereé returned to RHOA for the third time, ready to put the “Where is She by Shereé?” question to rest. Though the season heavily promoted the release of the line, for weeks we witnessed Shereé vaguely pointing at fabrics and working with another group of dedicated people whose one goal was to get She by Shereé on its feet.

When her cast members questioned the direction of the line, Shereé passed the blame for the delay in production to predatory male business partners. She eventually started working with new people, including an angel sent to her from God named Rawan. They finally pulled it together (barely) with samples coming the day of the fashion-show presentation. This was a full-circle moment for Shereé, who changed her fashion show to a “presentation,” terminology that seemed eerily similar to her “viewing” in season one. There was a point where I was convinced we would get yet another season finale centered on Shereé’s failings … but she got it together and showed more than TWENTY wearable looks.

The Aftermath
This season’s finale of RHOA was not an ending but an entirely new beginning for She by Shereé. Her site went live seconds after the episode aired — and shortly after, it crashed. On paper, this could be a good thing, reflecting robust interest in the line. But as more time passed, the aftermath of her debut opened another can of worms for Shereé.

First, the price points were … interesting. One of her sets costs close to $200. Yes, both athleisure and streetwear are lucrative markets (I am embarrassed about how much I spent on my favorite Bape T-shirt), but the issue with Shereé’s pricing is that it doesn’t match the quality of the clothes. Knowing that you can never hide from the internet, especially Bravo fans, I’m surprised Shereé thought she could get away with using generic styles sold on sites like Shein and Amazon for a percentage of the price and slapping her logo on it, as she seemingly did with this gray two-piece.

Days after the copycat accusations, photos from the She by Shereé website emerged showing models, including Kairo, modeling thin, wrinkled T-shirts with 2013-ass graphics being sold for nearly three times what I paid for my Bape shirt. Shereé responded to the backlash, justifying the price point of one of the shirts because it features her real signature. As she told Women’s Health, “Everyone who follows Shereé Whitfield knows that everything I do is quality. I am quality.” Sure.

Even today, 14 years after its name was first uttered, the story of She by Shereé continues, and I can’t wait to see what headlines she makes once people actually receive their orders. Until then, keep refreshing her website to get a chance at snagging the infamous clothing.

She by Shereé: A Complete History