Fashion and footwear designer to rock gods past and present, John Varvatos, hopes to give his hometown of Detroit, Mich. a sartorial and much needed financial edge. The Motor City native announced plans on Wednesday to open a 4,000-square-foot store located in Detroit’s downtown neighborhood next spring.
The store—Varvatos’ first in the Midwest, not to mention, the first luxury boutique to open in the financially embattled city in decades—will offer the complete John Varvatos line, including his popular Converse by John Varvatos range of sneakers. Since filing for bankruptcy in 2011, Detroit has struggled to retain businesses.
Varvatos said returning to Detroit is “much more than a business opportunity. It is also about changing the complexion of a great city and creating a different kind of legacy.” He added, “Detroit is well past its tipping point and I’m thrilled to be playing a role in the city’s ongoing transformation.”
The designer, whose signature denim and leather collections are heavily influenced by Detroit’s music history, worked with Quicken Loans owner and fellow downtown Detroit revivalist Dan Gilbert to secure the property. Gilbert said, “To have a world renowned designer like John Varvatos choose downtown Detroit for his first Midwest store shows the confidence that specialty retailers have in the future of the city.” He added, “The creative class has played an important role in Detroit’s history and we are excited to have Varvatos return to his hometown and play a significant role in igniting Detroit’s fashion community.”