Marv Neal has a deep love for all things Detroit, and especially the art, music, and sense of style that makes the city so uniquely itself.
It’s that intersection of art, music, and fashion where Neal has found his calling: As a professional style curator and fashion and wardrobe stylist, he’s helped dress models for their magazine covers, he’s outfitted singers and rappers for their photoshoots and videos, and he’s served as lead costumer on Detroit-based movie sets.
As he told us last week, “I’m all about giving Detroit that Hollywood feel without the people going to Hollywood.”
Neal is a big proponent of doing his professional shopping at locally-owned mom-and-pop shops. Those are the places he grew up going to, those are the places that he wants to support.
Last week, we gave Neal the keys to our Instagram account as part of the Model D Explorer Series. He took us from city roller rinks to the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater and took the time to feature some of his favorite mom-and-pop shops throughout the area. These are the places where Neal not only shops for himself but for his clients, too.
Here, he tells us a bit more about a few of them. Visit the Model D Instagram page
for a rundown on a few others. And be sure to follow Marv Neal on Instagram
, check out his work on his website
, and take a look at another of his companies, the custom denim studio Jeanous Denim
17644 W. 7 Mile Rd.
“At 7 Mile and Archdale is Strictly Sportswear. They’re a mom-and-pop shop. They’re open for 24 hours the day and night before Christmas so people that still need to last-minute-shop can pick up some things. They sell men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes, denims and leather coats. You can buy Coogi stuff there. They have a gym shoe section, as well,” says Neal.
“They are a staple in the community. They've been around a while. A lot of celebrities have gone there to shop. When it comes to people opening boutiques here in the city, they are one of the first to have that urban feel to it.”
PJazz Collections Boutique II
21206 Gratiot Ave.
“So we have PJazz Boutique, which is at 8 Mile and Gratiot. They are a premier women’s boutique,” Neal says. “They sell a lot of jewelry, some costume jewelry. That's one of my favorite spots to go to when I have a photo shoot, just to give that classic flair.”
17600 W. 8 Mile Rd.
“A little down 8 Mile across from the Southfield Freeway is Adelaides Boutique. She is a person that I've been friends with for about 20 years. I used some of her clothing in a movie I worked on,” he says. “I did a movie in February and I was the lead costumer for it and she provided me a few things for the movie.
“The movie was called Dymez. It basically has a premise about three women from Detroit that are trying to come up with some money to get a Birkin bag, since Birkin bags are the new craze.”
25273 Evergreen Rd.
“On Evergreen there’s a new store called Octane. They sell Off-White, Givenchy, and all the premier brands. They opened maybe two weeks ago but it's a very nice store, nice build-out.”
Nelson Sanders at Détroit is the New Black
1430 Woodward Ave.
“Nelson Sanders is a couturier — he does custom suiting. He used to be at another company and now he’s inside of Détroit is the New Black,” Neal says.
“At Détroit is the New Black, she houses different pieces from her own DITNB brand and also stuff from designers from all over the world. It gives you a high fashion boutique-feel and he has a spot inside of her store.”
The Restaurant Fashion Bistro
18212 W. 10 Mile Rd.
“They’re basically a men’s boutique. They carry a lot of brands and they do a lot of custom pieces, like custom tie-dye Nike socks. It’s a husband-and-wife team, a young Black couple in their mid- to late-30s,” he says.
“A lot of people like to shop from them; they have a reputation for a good experience. They do some things with personal styling — they’ll tell customers what to wear with their shoes and whatever else, you know, how to match it up. They have more of an urban feel, a lot of what you’ll see the rappers wearing, that sort of thing. Their store is a really good store for that.”