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Former Dragon breathes life into Detroit



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From left, Desmond Hunter and Greg Thomas prefer looking sharp to looking casual. Photo by G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
October 31, 2012 - Opening a small business today can be a dangerous and risky concept and opening one in Detroit can be even more difficult.

But one former Lake Orion High School student believes he's found a niche in the motor city.

Greg Thomas, former Orion resident and LOHS student, moved to Detroit in 2004 and has partnered with friend Desmond Hunter to open a luxury clothes shop near the downtown area in Detroit. He believes that there is an influx of businessmen to the downtown and a clothes store that caters to young professionals is something the city lacks.

"I think there is a demand to it and especially in the area it makes sense right now," he said. "Especially for young guys in our demographic, there is not really a place for us to dress the way we want. The brands we want to carry are brands not really offered in Detroit right now and all the young professionals that have moved here will appreciate a place to shop."

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The store, called Bull and Bear Clothiers, will have an upscale swanky theme based on a "roaring 20s" speakeasy.

They plan to offer brands such as Band of Outsiders, Gant, Alexander Wang, Rag and Bone and grooming products by The Blind Barber.

Investors are gathering and a Chicago-based designer Marcellous Daniel has shown interest in providing his private label - Yearbook Club - to the retailer.

Thomas worked in retail for years and said he has a passion for fashion. He didn't know what he wanted to do, despite going to school for fashion design. One day, it dawned on him.

"I started working retail and decided I could open my own store," he said. "(Hunter) came in, I was selling him some clothes, we were talking and I found out we went to the same school. I pitched my idea back in April and he liked it."

The tentative opening of the store is Black Friday, 2013, but the two are planning a lot of events to judge reception and spread the word.

On Nov. 15, a mixer at the 24 Grill is planned and a clothes drive will be held in the Champaign Room at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel. The clothes will be donated to a charity.

Bring a suit and tie for the drive and you get a free drink ticket. Every last Thursday will see the two doing social mixers at the Detroit Yacht Club and the opening of a temporary "pop-up" shop is planned for the near future.

To follow developments on Bull and Bear Clothiers, follow them on Twitter, on Facebook, email them at bullandbearclothiers@gmail.com or call them at (313) 460-0138.

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