Designer John Varvatos to open first Midwest store in Detroit
John Varvatos, famed American menswear designer will open his first Midwest retail boutique in the heart of downtown Detroit. With the store opening, Varvatos, a Detroit native, is taking an active role in in the city’s ongoing resurgence. The 4,000 square foot store will be located at 1500 Woodward Avenue. Built in 1891, the historic Gordon Lloyd-designed, Queen Anne-style mid-rise building is one of more than 60 properties owned and operated by Bedrock Real Estate Services. The boutique is slated to open in spring 2015.
The boutique – the first high-end designer fashion retailer in decades to open a permanent storefront in downtown Detroit – will offer John Varvatos’ complete menswear line including the John Varvatos Collection, John Varvatos Star USA and Converse by John Varvatos.
Varvatos, an award-winning and highly accomplished global fashion designer, launched his first clothing line in 2000 after a successful design career with some of the world’s most respected menswear design houses. Varvatos credits his Detroit-area upbringing and Motown, rock & roll, blues, jazz, and punk music influences as some of the inspiration for his contemporary men’s fashion collections.
“For me, this 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,” Varvatos said. “Detroit is well past its tipping point and I’m thrilled to be playing a role in the city’s ongoing transformation.”
His decision to return to his hometown was greatly influenced by the opportunity to partner with Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures, and his Bedrock Real Estate Services team on their vision to transform one of America’s iconic cities.
“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,” said Gilbert. “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.”
In the past two years Detroit has seen a heavy influx of businesses and retailers opening in the city, eager to take part in its renewal.
“This is a huge win for Detroit,” added Dan Mullen, Vice President of Leasing and Development for Bedrock Real Estate Services. “Varvatos is setting the tone for the bustling shopping district that will grow along Woodward Avenue and will help us recruit other like-minded brands that will create the ultimate destination for downtown.”
The block that houses the building where the boutique will call home has become known as the ‘Madison Block’ – the epicenter for tech startups in Detroit. The arrival of John Varvatos marks the beginning of a fashion revolution in Detroit’s urban core while continuing to honor the block’s ongoing theme of innovation and entrepreneurship.