Slow fashion: Boutique in Detroit’s Midtown puts focus on sustainability and quality

Eugenie first opened in fall of 2020

Eugenie in Detroit's Midtown. (Eugenie)

DETROIT – A new boutique conveniently located in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood is putting its foot down on the fast fashion trend.

Eugenie, launched during the pandemic holiday season of 2020, was founded by husband and wife duo Gretchen Valade and Kevin Steen. Valade is the Director of Sustainability at Carhartt. Steen owns and runs production company Rathaus Films, based out of Brooklyn, New York.

Eugenie’s mission is simple: To offer functional, quality products that are produced in a sustainable, responsible and ethical way.

Valade and Steen conceptualized the store “to spark the conversation of how products are created and what they are made from - to know the people behind the product that is being purchased.”

Gretchen Valade & Kevin Steen. (Eugenie)

“We are working to encourage people to start paying attention to what they are wearing and to inspire you to ask questions and take time to learn what you put on your body.”

Eugenie carries products from local Detroit designers, as well as designers from around the world, including from New York City, Los Angeles and overseas.

“We believe it is important to support designers and brands that have a focus on sustainability now more than ever. Not only are the brands in our collection mainly women owned, and sometimes operated by a single or just a few people, but they are also moving sustainability forward by existing, innovating, and working to make the practices they use and follow the norm vs a specialty.”

Eugenie says it’s putting in the work with designers to make sure they know where products are coming from and how they’re being made. “Each new designer we work with starts with a conversation about sustainability and how it relates to their brand and products.”

Products available at Eugenie range from an array of clothing, to accessories, jewelry, and home goods, like candles, essential oils, shampoos, and more.

Find out more about Eugenie at their website here, where you can shop online, or visit the store in person at 444 W Willis St. #112 in Detroit, right next to Avalon Bakery.

You can follow them on Instagram here, where they post about special pop-ups and events. (And if you need a tailor, Taz the Tailor, the master tailor of Eugenie, works out of this space, too)

Bonus fact: Eugenie was named after owner Gretchen Valade’s Great Aunt Eugenie, the sister of her grandmother, Gretchen C. Valade, whom she was named after.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.