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Will Leather Goods Opens in Historic Tomboy Grocery Building

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Photos by <a href="http://www.michelleandchrisgerard.com/"> Michelle and Chris Gerard</a>
Photos by Michelle and Chris Gerard

Will Leather Goods opened a new flagship store in Midtown this week. The midtown store, a 9,000-square-foot "concept space," was designed by Birmingham architects McIntosh Poris Associates in consultation with William Adler Design. The shop, is housed in the former Tomboy grocery store. Before its transformation, Tomboy was a bit of an eyesore, and sold to Will Leather after being listed for $650K last year. Detroiters may question midtown's gentrification, but in this case, we'll take a chi chi new shop over the building's previous incarnation as a place lousy with "bums, beggars, hookers and drug dealers," according to Metro Times.

The new space is a complete 180 from the decrepit-looking storefront. The freshly painted exterior has lost its tatty awning, and a gorgeous vintage Ford truck carrying a life-size cow figurine now welcomes shoppers to the store. In addition to the retail space, the new shop also offers a creative gallery (the Will Gallery) and a showcase for American art, the Robert Adler Community Art Gallery. As part of Will Leather's grand opening festivities, the brand is putting on an exhibition in the Adler Gallery called American Heroes and Dreamers. The collection of 1950's and 60's work by photographer Mark Shaw includes portraits of the Kennedy family.

Will Leather opened Nov 3. The space is amazing—nearly overwhelming. There's a massive teepee made of cowhide, displays of full dining sets with handmade leather chairs, and a huge, gorgeous art deco sign depicting the god Mercury in flight against a stylized sunburst. Will Adler, the company founder, comes from Detroit originally and said in a statement that he is thrilled to have a store in his hometown.

"I am proud and humbled to be returning to Detroit, to the city that made me who I am today, and to be able to share the quality, passion and integrity that the Will Leather Goods brand represents with the people of Detroit," Adler said. As part of the company's Detroit launch, Will leather is also giving 4000 backpacks to Cornerstone School students. The shop sells a full line of leather goods—belts, wallets, purses, even hats—as well as home accessories that retail for $95-$1500.

·Will Leather Goods [Will Leather Goods]
·Goodbye, Tomboy: Luxury Leather Conquers Midtown's Grimy Grocer [Curbed Detroit]
·Run-Down Tom Boy Market To Be Replaced By High End Retail [Curbed Detroit]