Fashion Is Happening in Detroit

A little love letter to two of our favorite Michigan brands.
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A little love letter to two of our favorite Michigan brands.
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At this point, it’s undeniable: Motor City is also home of some serious men’s fashion assets. That hasn’t always been the case. Historically, Detroit was known as the center of American automobile design and production: at one point in the mid-century, Detroit was the corporate and manufacturing home of every major manufacturer, from Chevrolet to Dodge to Desoto to Lincoln. In the late sixties and seventies, Detroit also became the home of one of America’s most successful record companies, Motown, which was also the most successful African American-owned business of the day. Today, though, Detroit’s fashion industry is emerging as one of the bases for the city’s umpteenth act of rebirth.

First, you can’t think of fashion in Detroit without Shinola, the city’s century-old brand famous for their sturdy bikes, slick watches and incredibly refined leather goods. Word has it that their latest batch of satchels and packs is taking Shinola’s no-nonsense, all-American style to a new high. We can’t wait to see it.

We’ve also always been in love with hometown hero John Varvatos’ brand of Rock and Roll, gritty Motor City style. The man makes Euro-style duds jackets and pointed leather boots, but somehow, each item is worn, stressed, or riveted in such a way that it could only be the product of the American Midwest.  Happily, Varvatos has returned to Detroit, opening one of the brand’s flagship stores, and while one opening certainly won’t turn a city around, a place like Detroit that has suffered more than its share of industrial, economic, and social hardships deserves every vote of confidence it can get. Consider this ours.

Photos by Shinola