The Avenue of Fashion was one of Detroit’s most famous and elite shopping districts during the 20th century.
Like New York City’sFifth Avenue, the district was known for its specialty stores and small boutiques that sold jewelry, furs and high-end fashions. The district even housed branches of Detroit’s original chains like retailer B. Siegl and Sibley’s Shoes.
But the district’s livelihood declined in the 1950-60s when many customers moved to the suburbs or went to shop outside the city, drawn by the convenience and novelty of places like Northland Center in Southfield, leaving the Avenue of Fashion behind.
Behind but not forgotten.
Today, boutiques, art galleries, spas and restaurants owned by Detroiters remain committed to the success of the community line Livernois at 7 Mile,the heart of the district, which stretches to 8 Mile.
And on Monday, Dawn Sanford, with a $55,000 award from Motor City Match, joined current store owners seeking to keep the district’s history alive amid hopes of growth and change.
Sanford, a Saginaw native and barber in Detroit for 32 years, is opening Shears & Shaves Barber and Spa, a grooming and spa service she hopes will serve residents in the neighborhood. By choosing the Avenue of Fashion for her new venture, Sanford will continue to seek compassion through barbering, she said in a news release.
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