On Thursday, Carhartt
opened its new flagship store in Detroit's Cass Corridor, aka Midtown, near Wayne State University. The family-owned, Dearborn-based workwear brand got its start in 1889 in Detroit, and is known for its durable, utilitarian clothing. In fact, to underscore its rep as a blue-collar brand, Thursday's ribbon-cutting ceremony involved sledgehammering through a wall
But is Carhartt targeting its wares toward workers, or to Midtown hipsters? Its Midtown location along the trendy Cass Corridor would seem to indicate the latter (although with the M-1 Rail construction in full swing, it seems like plenty of construction crews who could use some outfitting are nearby). In fact, Carhartt opened its first retail store in Portland, Ore., and it's gaining traction as a something of a streetwear brand for kids with blue-collar roots.
The new store features a wall-sized photo of a young bearded dude — presumably Carhartt's target demographic. However, the precise identity of the man is a mystery. Is he a Budweiser-swilling, all-American factory worker? Or is he a craft beer drinking, indie-rock-listening Midtown artiste? The line between authenticity and ironic appropriation has never been so blurred.
Demographic ambiguities aside, there's plenty at Carhartt's store to appeal to Midtown's younger, hipper crowds. Below, we present our top picks from the store for Midtown hipsters:
1. Stanley Classic Wide Mouth Flask
Heading to an illicit warehouse rave? Don't want to spend $10 for beer at the next Avett Brothers show? Nursing a mild case of Hank Chinaski-inspired alcoholism? This is the flask for you. The wide-mouth design helps get alcohol down your gullet faster than other brands. (MSRP $24.99)
2. Dog T-shirt
This shirt reminds us of the kind you'd find at a Midwest truck stop — except instead of a wolf howling at the moon or a badass Native American woman, we have a dog, some ducks, and Carhartt's logo. (MSRP $24.99)
3. Baby overalls
Forget about giving your kid an ironic mohawk — Junior will look cute as hell in these pint-sized overalls made to mimic the look of Carhartt's famous adult version. (MSRP $39.99)
4. Safety Goggles
Remember that weird non-prescription glasses trend among the hipster set from 10 years or so ago? Neither do we! (MSRP $27.99)
5. Wallet w/ tin
This canvass wallet comes in a great little tin that we think would make the perfect place to hide your weed and related paraphernalia. All aboard! (MSRP $19.99)
Carhartt's flagship is located at 5800 Cass Ave, Detroit.