Nestled neatly in the Park Shelton is a mysterious room filled to the brim with beautiful peacocks. Well, not exactly. What is being offered by The Peacock Room, 15 E. Kirby St., however, is just as interesting.
Just beginning to sprout its wings, this shop was opened on Noel Night 2011 and specializes in edgy, feminine, vintage-with-a-modern twist garments and accessories.
Wayne State alumna and owner Rachel Lutz calls Midtown her “adopted neighborhood.” Lutz is a second-generation Midtowner and a fourth-generation Motor City business owner. Because there is a lack of retail in the area, she said, her store was “a needed business.” Lutz says she never considered another location.
Just steps from campus, WSU students and faculty frequent the shop, Lutz said, but, not as many as she would like. Still, “we’re a part of the community,” she said.
Many “Midtowners” want to shop locally, but don’t know where to do it. Lutz insists that all it takes is an accidental stumble into The Room and they’re hooked.
The WSU community seems to be especially excited to have another retail option. Lutz isn’t just luring Detroiters with her tailored dresses and evening clutches. While the store was opened with the idea of catering to local urbanites, it has unexpectedly earned the loyalty of many suburban dwellers, according to Lutz. She is amazed that they will bypass the plethora of other shopping opportunities to come to The Peacock Room. Many shoppers want to make a conscious effort to spend money in the city, Lutz said.
“How cool is that?” she asks. And it’s, of course, the one-of-a-kind style that the shop offers justifies the commute.
“Detroiters really have a style of their own,” Lutz said. For Lutz, the biggest compliment she receives is when three generations of women walk into her store.
“We try to cater to all women. We have pieces that a 20-year-old woman would wear … a 40-year-old woman would wear … and a 60-year-old woman would wear,” she said.
Former WSU student and current Midtown resident Gabriel Lemoine is familiar with The Peacock Room. Lemoine is a true staple of the neighborhood, and according to him, the fashion community is very active. Gabriel cites the numerous young WSU designers who are constantly creating and participating in area runway shows. Lemoine talks of his friend Levon Kafavian who recently held a show at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn.
As for his personal tastes, Lemoine frequents Cyperoptix Lab Ties. He’s attracted to their eclectically printed ties, T-shirts and other Detroit-inspired gear, he said. But when asked what his favorite place to shop is, he’s quick on the draw “Showtime Vintage.” Lemoine’s intrigue is clear, considering the life-sized replica of Gene Simmons in full KISS mode, tongue and all, which greets patrons at the door. This “alternative” place is unique in everything from its décor to its garments. WSU fashion and design students are often employed seasonally at the store, according to owner Daniel Tatarian. This rock ‘n’ roll outlet is far from new to the neighborhood, though. They’ve held claim to 5708 Woodward Ave. for 24 years, Tatarian said.
According to him, Showtime will be sponsoring and contributing to the Detroit Music Awards. It’s important that WSU continue its efforts in maintaining and building relationships with local businesses and residents, Lemoine said.
“The more active they are with the people that live around there,” he said, “the better and stronger the community is.”