Following Detroit’s historic bankruptcy ruling on Nov. 7, the Grand Bargain’s approval sent a sigh of relief throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. With Michigan’s Comeback Kid, Rick Snyder, at the helm, and a horde of young creatives hoping to take part in Detroit’s revitalization, the city is brimming with potential.
And with energy and creativity comes innovation; Detroit is experiencing the unique and rare moment where fashion meets attitude. As Ben Affleck said in a recent interview, Detroit has that “Hey, we’re on the comeback” kind of spirit. But Affleck is tapping into an artistic process that has been in the works for decades. Companies like Made in Detroit and Detroit vs. Everybody, among others, have emerged as leaders in the pro-Detroit movement.
The Michigan Daily spoke with the founder of Ink Detroit, Paul Marcial, to talk about the motives and ideas behind his company. Marcial noted that the idea came about when he and his partner, Steven Mansour, realized the need for Detroit pride T-shirts that were positive, as opposed to earlier concepts that portrayed a more negative image of the city.
“We wanted something fun and gritty at the same time, something that reflects the character of the city,” Marcial said.
Marcial, who has roots in Detroit, constantly promotes the city as the Paris of the Midwest. He believes there is a reason Detroit natives have remained proud despite the bankruptcy and negative media coverage in the past two years.
“Creative people in the area — the ingenuity and the engineers — when you get a lot of creatives and entrepreneurs together and people that can actually make things, it’s amazing what you get,” Marcial said.
In order for growth to accelerate, suburbanites need a reason to come to the city — something that makes it cool and stylish.
“That’s a key element, when you get all of those creative people moving downtown and making areas like Midtown a hot spot, that’s what you need to rebuild a city,” he added.
Because of Detroit’s unique mix of business owners and artists, there is a pro-Detroit shirt to reflect a variety of opinions on the city. For a Detroiter born to represent, Made in Detroit creates pieces to advertise a city that was built with forearm and hammer, a place that is proud of its automotive heritage.
For a simple concept that holds a strong message, Detroit vs. Everybody garments sport a saying that demands the respect Detroit deserves. To echo the idea, Big Sean, Eminem, Danny Brown and others recently collaborated on the single “Detroit vs. Everybody,” released Nov. 10.
For those tapped into the Detroit art scene, Aptemal Clothing, founded in 2007, promotes artists who have dedicated their lives to investing in re-building Detroit with their “Detroit Hustles Harder” T-shirts and crop tops.
Finally, Ink Detroit provides a positive yet gritty representation of the beloved city. Their “I Heart Detroit” crewneck and “Detroit Skull” T-shirt are the company’s bestsellers.
Ink Detroit and Aptemal Clothing are just a few companies that have provided Detroiters with the unique opportunity to dress to reflect the feelings and energy of the city. Whether one sports the classic “Detroit City” like Ben Affleck or a “Made in Detroit” like Kid Rock, Detroit supporters everywhere are sharing their pride through their style choices. What better way to promote growth than stamp it across your chest?