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Wearing a Bit of Detroit Pride on Your Kid’s Hoodie Sleeve

Someone once said there is no such thing as bad publicity. They obviously didn’t live in Detroit. But when we get the good stuff, it makes your heart feel all squeezey with pride.

And all it took was one little Lands’ End hoodie to make me feel that way.

Lands' End

It’s not often that you see children’s clothing sold outside of this state that promotes Detroit. But this lovely Boy’s Fleece Graphic Hoodie Pullover – which proudly bears the Detroit name – will be seen in every household that has ever shopped the retailer online or in Sears.

Sure, this is kinda shallow stuff. Yes, there is so much more to write about the city. But lately I’m obsessed with how the city is perceived out of the state. I’m obsessed with Claire Nelson’s idea that it’s not one big thing for the city; it’s a million little things. I am eternally optimistic, as ePrize Founder, Chairman and CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners Josh Linker put it this week, “I believe 40 years from now I’ll tell my grandkids about this five-year period when Detroit hit the tipping point.”

I contacted Lands’ End PR coordinator Molly Hawkins this week to ask about the Detroit design. She said it was part of a collection of city- and boxing-inspired graphics.

“This piece was inspired by a vintage boxing ticket. According to Liz Pierce, senior design director for Kids at Lands’ End, we choose places that felt ‘real’ – all-American cities and towns with people that share the strong values that we associate with. Places where people had a strong work ethic, and seemed kind of emblematic, ‘hard-working heroes’ so to speak,” Hawkins said.

Ah, tell me more about my eyes. … Oh, sorry.

These words – thank you, Ms. Pierce and Ms. Hawkins – are what will spur good stuff in and around this city. We’ve got some life right now. We’re interesting. We’re underdogs, making good. We’re sexy in a municipal sense.

I mean, look at the picture that was in Lands’ End PR shots for its fall season. That kid promoting Detroit of all things is ridiculously cute and well groomed. He’s like a postcard of what you think your little boy is going to look like (and act like) when  you decide to have children. And then reality hits you like a cold fish. But I digress.

Well, let me back up. It’s not all kudos here. I’ll say the hoodie in question does highlight Detroit for some mythical boxing team. It is one of four designs for this particular item, so it’s not like its pushing Detroit in a whole collection. And it’s an item that already has been discounted, so who know how long it will be until it ends up in the “overstocks” pile.

And, let’s face it, some parents might not want their kiddos wearing it.

But it’s a lot better than sending your kid to school wearing togs bragging about “Detroit: Where the Weak are Killed and Eaten.” Or how about this one on the Café Press site: “Detroit…I Came, I Saw, I Made it Out Alive”?

So if you see my kid wearing the Lands’ End Detroit hoodie, don’t beat him up. Give him a high five for loving his city.

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