Détroit is the New Black to close downtown store, remain open online

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Détroit is the New Black will close its store in downtown Detroit on Sunday after nearly six years on Woodward, the company’s founder announced Friday.

The business will remain open online.

"Building Détroit is the New Black has been a labor of love and it is truly bittersweet to close our doors,” founder Roslyn Karamoko wrote in an Instagram post Friday. “I believe that our mission to provide space for under-represented founders and black owned businesses was accomplished through our time downtown."

Roslyn Karamoko, founder and CEO of Detroit Is The New Black, on Woodward, in Detroit, July 27, 2016.

"The brand was built as an optimistic platform to champion an inclusive future city. One that authentically offers 'Opportunity Detroit' for everyone," she wrote. "Small businesses such as ours, and those that we house, create a base and local fabric for developing cities. This fabric provides the energy that ultimately attracts larger retailers.”

The closure of the store at 1430 Woodward, first reported by Crain's Detroit Business, follows that of Under Armour last month down the street at 1201 Woodward. 

Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock owns the building. The firm said it provided the 2,400-square-foot retail space rent-free since 2020 for use by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan’s Industry Club, a paid fellowship program for youth interested in retail or fashion merchandising careers, as part of its mission to support local minority entrepreneurs.

"We do not comment on any of our tenants' business or operational situations," Bedrock spokesman Tom Goulding said, referring additional questions to the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan.

The store opened on Woodward in July 2016 and started as a T-shirt company. Karamoko noted that her store has hosted local and global brands including Tracy Reese, Helmut Lang and The Lip Bar.

Karamoko wrote that her hope has always been for downtown Detroit to become a destination shopping district. The store sits between the Le Labo fragrance shop and Madewell clothing retailer, which both opened in 2018.

“I'm happy to have played a role in its progress,” she wrote. “I'm so grateful for our beautiful customers and staff whose diversity has inspired me, as well as those who have supported the vision since its inception. Thank you, Détroit, and to all of our partners who helped to manifest this dream. I look forward to the next chapter."


Twitter: @CWilliams_DN