Orleans + Winder is 'pushing the boundaries' 

Detroit goes avant-garde

Many may have seen the downstairs Detroit vs. Everybody store in Eastern Market, but did they check out what's upstairs? Orleans + Winder unveiled their flagship store during Eastern Market After Dark and showed off their unique avant-garde look with a twist.

Erin Wetzel has been dreaming of opening her own high-end retail store since she visited Paris when she was 17. Within two years she and JT McCluskey launched Orleans + Winder online and after they saw the growing popularity, they opened their doors in Detroit.

"I chose designers that came at their work like an art form," says Wetzel. "We wanted to make it feel like a gallery and sometimes people come up and are confused if we are selling apparel or art."

Many designer brands like Forme D'expression, Lost & Found, Shaina Mote and Xenophora can be found at the loft. Orleans + Winder also collaborates with the Cranbrook Academy of Art's Metal Department. Some of the master students make many conceptual pieces of jewelry that can be purchased at the store as well.

Orleans + Winder only carries sized small, medium, and large, but Wetzel says she hopes they can expand to larger sizes when they find the need for it.

All fabrics are sustainable and many are made by hand. "It's a different vein of fashion that's pushing the boundaries," says Wetzel.

The pieces show off a contemporary white and black minimalist look that can be worn on the runway or to work. Wetzel says the clothes have an avant-garde twist. "Meaning if it's a classic shape there is always something unusual about it whether it's the cut or drape," she says. "I wanted something very utilitarian — it's an investment."

While at Eastern Market, cross from Shed 3 and see the artistic 1,800-square-foot loft catering to any fashionista or the casual shopper. "Orleans and Winder are the crossroads of where we live, hence the name," says Wetzel. "We also thought it was important to stay in Detroit. We want to be a part of the revitalization of the city and we felt that it was time for a high-end emerging fashion here."

More by Sarah Rahal

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