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Guest Blogger: Detroit Shopping from The Damsel in Detroit

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One of my favorite things from Fashion Week, was all the amazing people I got to meet, one of which was Hoda of The Damsel in Detroit. Hoda and I chatted for a while about travel fashion and she emphatically filled me in on the wonder that is Detroit shopping! Her hometown is more than the manufacturing hub you may know it as. I love visiting a city and discovering good shopping in addition to the culture I flew there for, and good news, Detroit shopping is rich and plenty! So take a seat for the fabulous Guest Blogger: The Damsel in Detroit!

Detroit's Style Scoop

Car manufacturing, home of Motown, and celebs like Eminem and Kid Rock are some of the instant trigger thoughts associated with Detroit. But what many outsiders don't know is that Detroit is the new black in the fashion playground. Unlike style-studded cities such as New York or Chicago, the shopping scene in the "D" is not laid out in a major strip. The destination shops and designers are scattered across all of metro Detroit.
Hunting for the hidden gems in the area has always excited me! Since the list of hot shopping spots is pretty lengthy, I will try my best to give you a glimpse of the style sanctuaries sprinkled throughout metro Detroit. This urban region includes the counties of Oakland, Wayne and Macomb, which is also known as the Detroit Tri-County area.

In the heart of the city, you may just fall head over heels in love with Sole Sisters, a swank shoe shop that also sells other accessories and some apparel. From $16 earrings to $350 shoes and purses, the trendy boutique has something for everyone (313.831.9013). 

While you're in Midtown Detroit, be sure to check out a fairly new local style shop called City Bird, home of Detroit city finds, from soaps and accessories to jewelry and handmade goods (www.ilovecitybird.com).

If you're looking for the best go-to mall in the area, look no further than Somerset Collection in Troy. From high-end shopping such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Neiman Marcus to fast fashion such as Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters, you'll find it all at the Somerset Collection (www.thesomersetcollection.com). If you're interested in an outdoor shopping getaway, then explore the Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township. The mall houses nearly 90 distinctive stores and restaurants and features unique amenities such as Bocce ball courts, a TV court and a 30' fireplace (www.shoppartridgecreek.com).

I'm a sucker for a stellar vintage shop, and I consider myself blessed to know a number of vintage connoisseurs in the area. Nestled in the city of Waterford is the ultimate fashion wonderland, otherwise known as Chi-Chi and the Greek. The shop houses the fabulous finds of owners Kelly Johnson and her husband ("The Greek"). The dynamic duo have a special eye for vintage exclusives that date back as early as the 1920s and offer designer duds of Chole, Comme des Garçons, Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta and many more (www.chichiandthegreek.com). 


Photographer Daniel Lippitt

Tucked away in the small city of Dearborn Heights, you will find one of metro Detroit's hidden treasures: V-Male Detroit Vintage. The eclectic shop, which sells 50s to 70s vintage clothing, burlesque supplies, wigs and accessories, carries the largest selection of Dead Stock or New Old Stock (Vintage clothing that has never been worn before) in the state (313.299.8899). 

Lost and Found Vintage in downtown Royal Oak is another style-savvy shop that's worth checking out. The tri-level store attracts vintage fashion gurus from all around the globe. Click here to check out a video tour of the shop.

While you're in downtown Royal Oak, be sure to shop the strip and stop into Incognito, where punk meets its pretty counterpart. The wide array of sunglasses, shoes, apparel and accessories are both trendy and tempting (www.goincognito.com).

Check out downtown Birmingham for luxe stores such as Tender (www.tenderbirmingham.com), which carries gorgeous high-end designer finds, or Complex (www.complexmi.com), a two-level, 6,000-square-foot gallery style boutique that is a single space mixed with multiple concepts. Linda Dresner, the noted native metro Detroit fashion designer, also has her posh shop nestled in Birmingham (www.lindadresner.com).

Speaking of local designers, Detroit has a number of fashion mavens making their mark in the city and abroad. Fotoula Lambros of Fotoula Lambros Design is committed to creating eco-chic American Made clothing. The FLD creations prove that a glamorous getup and going green can be synonymous (www.fotoulalambrosdesign.com).

Photographer Lynn Upson.  Model is Alexandra Pasquinelli.  

Joe Faris, a metro Detroit resident, who first became a household name on Season 5 of Project Runway, is a co-founder of Fashion In Detroit (www.fashionindetroit.com), as well as the mastermind behind Motor City Denim Co. Faris has taken the first step towards establishing an apparel industry in southeastern Michigan with his clothing line that's made entirely in his home state (www.joe-faris.com).

Photographer Jason Loudermilk

If you're looking for an original outfit topper, tucked away in a 200-square-foot workspace in the city of Southfield, you'll find Lela's Showroom Boutique. The small shop offers a large selection of one-of-a-kind acclaimed designer hats such as Arturo Rios, jewelry, handbags and a wide array of posh yet practical and affordable accessories. Owner Alberta Lloyd's offered statement pieces are sure to turn heads. (248.356.5133, lelasshowroomboutique.com)

An overview of the vibrant shopping scene in the area attests to the fact that Detroit is not dead. Detroit has no intention to take over but rather leave its influential imprint on the fashion industry. Come discover the "D" and explore all it has to offer, one stylish step at a time!

Photo credits also of respective sites and Hoda of The Damsel in Detroit

Well I would definitely call that a bang up job on the Detroit shopping scene. I feel, thanks to The Damsel in Detroit, it may just be a city that I could do some serious damage in! Anything burning a whole in my romper pockets won't stand a chance!

Ready for some Detroit Shopping?

Be sure to follow The Damsel in Detroit for all the hot spots and hidden gems. 

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