The culture of fashion is well known for being an industry that is a force of the contemporary; a vision into the future. While this forward-thinking stereotype in garments is indeed upheld, often times the most fashionable passersby can be seen wearing an outfit that has elements from the past. Midtown Detroit is the quintessential case study of this fact. Often times the coolest individuals around town are buying and styling their outfits from the many great secondhand store options in the area. Their choice to go secondhand is multifaceted: the clothes are cheaper, more unique, and more intriguing than clothes bought at regular shopping plazas. This act of styling more vintage is, in of itself, a modern style choice. The irony is that these dated pieces are now being re imagined by a new individual, and are thereby considered stylish again. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but contrarily you can put that old sweater into a completely new outfit. With this mentality in place, and a market of young, creative residents flooding the Midtown area, secondhand and thrift stores have become a staple of the neighborhood.
The king of the secondhand game in Midtown has to be Detroit Clothing Circle. It's hard to take a stroll through Midtown and Wayne State University's campus without spotting a DCC sticker on a laptop, lamppost, or any other miscellaneous public structure. The relevancy of that famous black-box logo is no coincidence, as the Clothing Circle is an incredibly unique shopping experience. Often times thrift or secondhand shopping means a somewhat dingy atmosphere complete with white walls, bright overhead lights, and clothes disarranged on plastic hangers. Detroit Clothing Circle smashes this preconception with its layout. The store is actually located in a converted house on Second Avenue. A walk up the patio stairs and through the front door opens to a beautiful old home complete with hardwood floors and brick walls. There is light incense burning, as some moody musical melodies float into the atmosphere. The vibe is cozy and personal. Interesting rugs line the floor, art pieces referencing hip-hop and street wear culture hang on the walls, and one-of-a-kind trinkets are peppered throughout the space. The clothing is carefully organized on wooden shelves and hung on refashioned pipes. All these elements create a space that encourages lingering and exploration. The atmosphere in DCC is what so many fashion shops try to emulate in their mall storefronts. One step into the Clothing Circle, however, put these inorganic corporate imitations to shame. Hearing about the great selections of clothes made us want to explore, and the decoration and aesthetic inspired us to stay.
While this store has a great layout and vibe, at the end of the day they are known for their clothing selection and rotation. Detroit Clothing Circle has one of the most impressive and unique collections of clothing I have seen in a secondhand store, and for quite the deal. I found a brilliant olive military sweater for only $12. All curated by the owner Michael Dedenbach, the Clothing Circle boasts similarly exquisite pieces that add a vintage splash to any outfit. Their selection range appeals to any style, dancing between street-wear, skate-wear, and more classic options. The shelves stay fresh, as they add new pieces to the collection every three to four days to keep the stock from going stale, and give customers an excuse to come back often. It is not uncommon to find rare pieces from well known brands sprinkled into the lineup of garments. I have seen coveted contemporary brands like BAPE, Supreme, Aimé Leon Dore, Fred Perry and KITH share space on the shelves with pieces from past decades. The dichotomy of having the inventory walk the line between modern and vintage styles is stupendous. What's equally impressive is DCC's wall of shoes and sneakers. Brands from Nike to Adidas to Puma to FILA line the shelf from floor to ceiling. On the opposite wall there are vintage leather boots, bags and briefcases. The finishing touch on the stimulating collection are the hats and caps displayed on every wall around the store. Detroit Clothing Circle turns a seemingly complex amalgam of clothing styles and eras into a comprehensive and cohesive shopping environment. The entirety of the store, from its decoration aesthetic to medley of clothing pieces, is a gem in the heart of Midtown. Detroit Clothing Circle has the LVD stamp of definitely for the culture.
-Avery Naman, LVD editor
Visit the Detroit Clothing Circle at 3980 Second Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
Follow them online: www.detroitclothingcircle.com www.instagram.com/detroitclothingcircle www.detroitclothingcircle.tumblr.com www.facebook.com/pages/Detroit-Clothing-Circle/2743651269306