McMullen, a popular California-based specialty retailer founded by Sherri McMullen, is coming to Detroit. The boutique’s six-month pop-up opened on September 16 in the city’s downtown, made possible through a partnership with property developer, bedrock.
Located at 1419 Woodward Avenue., McMullen will feature luxury apparel, accessories and home décor by both domestic and global designers. The Detroit store is the retailer’s first physical location outside of California, according to a press release.
“I first came to Detroit in February,” McMullen said. Detroit Time during a September 15 store preview, adding that she and Bedrock were discussing the retailer’s debut in Detroit since 2020. “I was walking around town and really fell in love with the energy here. Detroit has such a strong and rich culture and history, and it looked a lot like Oakland when I opened my Oakland store 15 years ago this year. I had the same feeling when I kind of knew this was the place for me to start my business, and [Detroit] I felt like the right place to have an expansion outside of California.
All products available at the pop-up are selected exclusively for the Detroit store. Locals will find products from local brands like Hope For Flowers, by designer Tracy Reese and Detroit is the new black at the store.
McMullen says it was also important to bring in local artists to bring the space to life. Detroit artist and photographer Jason Johnson, aka RCKBNY, was commissioned to create the store’s logo, which he painted on a wall at the front of the store. Several of Johnson’s works are also on display throughout the space.
Well-known brands like Proenza Schouler, Christopher John Rogers, Rachel Comey and Mara Hoffman will be available at the pop-up. Other notable brands include Diotima, a brand created by Brooklyn-based Jamaican-born designer Rachel Scott; Fashion Fair Cosmetics, the first beauty brand designed to meet the needs of black and brown skin; and Nigerian brand Lisa Folawiyo. (McMullen is Lisa Folawiyo’s exclusive U.S. retailer, meaning the brand’s products are only available at the retailer’s stores in California and now Detroit.)
“Sherri McMullen is a fashion trailblazer, and we look forward to welcoming this cutting-edge, women-owned concept to downtown Detroit,” Bedrock COO Ivy Greaner said in a statement. Press. “This is a pivotal time for retail in Detroit and McMullen is not only bringing a new supply of designers, but they are also paving the way for emerging brands to break into the market.”
McMullen founded his company in 2007 in Oakland, California. After 15 years in business, she decided to celebrate by taking her store on the road. In June, she launched her traveling shops with a pop-up in Los Angeles before moving to Motor City.
McMullen has made it his company’s philosophy to elevate underrepresented and emerging talent and provide opportunities for black designers. His shop was one of the first to carry Christopher John Rogers’ eponymous brand before it was taken over by global retailers like Net-a-Porter and Harrods. Reese is also a good friend of McMullen’s, and she was one of the first designers the retailer sold in its early days.
The boutique’s Detroit debut also comes at a hot time for retail and design in the city. Gucci opened its downtown store in late August, a few blocks from the McMullen pop-up, and released a limited-edition collection featuring Detroit vs. Everybody earlier this month. And Detroit Design Month — an annual multidisciplinary festival promoting design as an economic catalyst in the city — is in full swing for its 12th year, with fashion and art exhibits, workshops, open studios and more throughout the month of September.
McMullen has more in store for Detroit. According to a press release, the retailer will launch its 15th anniversary collection in November, which will include exclusive apparel, beauty items and jewelry from 15 designers.
“Detroit breeds icons. I’m really excited to be a part of this and to help people in Detroit discover the brands that are really close to my heart – lots of designers, lots of color designers – and to help introduce those brands to the consumer here” , McMullen said.
McMullen’s pop-up store in Detroit is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit shopmcmullen.com.