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Detroit — The grand opening of the designer John Varvatos' store along Woodward Avenue downtown had all the glitz of a New York gala -- and the charm of Detroit.

The Chrysler brand pulled out all the stops in their welcome home party for the world-famous fashion designer, who was born in Detroit and grew up in Allen Park. Woodward Avenue was closed all day with a "black carpet" fit for stars. And Varvatos' idol and friend, rock legend Alice Cooper, shook the renovated building with his band.

As much as it was a celebration of Varvatos and rock 'n' roll, it was a celebration of the city itself.

"Sometimes after you get knocked down, you're in a better position to succeed," said Varvatos. "I feel like the city has been knocked down for a long time, but now it's really going to come back stronger than ever."

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Alice Cooper performed and stars like Justin Verlander, Kate Upton, Michael Bolton and Eric Ebron came out to support John Vartatos's new Detroit store on Woodward Avenue.

Among the stars that walked the black carpet were Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander; girlfriend and Sports Illustrated favorite model Kate Upton; Lions tight end Eric Ebron; former University of Michigan star quarterback Devin Gardner; HGTV star and "Rehab Addict" host Nicole Curtis; and singer Michael Bolton.

Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, Chrysler brand CEO Al Gardner and Fiat Chrysler Chief Marketing Officer Olivier François were also on hand.

"As we came out the misery of 2009 and 2010, John was there. We built a couple cars together," said Gardner. "John's a great guy. We love him."

After walking the black carpet, the stars and guests crammed into the store, where a stage was set up.

The John Varvatos store is 4,600 square feet of uber-chic. Cooper and his band packed the house as they ran through a full show with 12 songs, including crowd favorites "Mr. Nice Guy," "Be My Lover" and "Lost in America."

Cooper also threw in some Rolling Stones ("Brown Sugar"), Jimi Hendrix ("Foxy Lady") and The Who ("My Generation") for good measure.

Cooper closed out the show by bringing Varvatos on stage to help the band perform the last song of the night, "School's Out."

"This guy knows more about Detroit bands than anybody I've ever met in my life," Cooper said.

lrazzaq@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2127

@laurenarazzaq

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