Erik Miller, owner of Untied On Woodward in downtown Birmingham, shares how his grandfather inspired his clothing store, Detroit brands he loves and what four-legged friend you can always find at his store. Check out the shop on the SEEN Marketplace.
By Rachel Schostak
1. What inspired you to get into this business? I have been into fashion ever since I was a young man. I was inspired by my grandfather who owned an insurance company. He always dressed nicely and always instilled in me the importance of dressing properly. He was a successful small business owner and a WWII veteran. I have pictures all over the store of him, including a really cool wallpaper mural behind the register. I dedicated Untied On Woodward to my grandfather, Robert Marshall Brandon.
2. What does a typical day look like for you? I wake up and take Khloe my golden retriever on a walk. I then head to the store. After work, I love to sing karaoke.
3. Who inspires you in the fashion world? I had a really cool opportunity to have cocktails and meet Adam Lambert last year after the Queen concert. I told him I was in awe of his sense of style and his willingness to take risks with his fashion. He was really appreciative of the comments. My grandpa had a great sense of style, so I appreciate the more classic look too. I also am inspired by iconic brands that stay true to who they are as a company. I’m a huge fan of Ben Sherman. They have classic looks that never go out of style.
4. What is the mission of your store? Untied On Woodward’s mission is essentially taking your tie off to wear casual clothing. But that doesn’t mean that you still can’t look nice by wearing a nice button-down shirt or a trendy sweatshirt with a nice pair of dark jeans and a pair of boots. We have fashions for a casual work week and the weekend. I have fashion for the young 20- and 30-something that wants to have more of a relaxed style. But most of my looks are for every age group of men!
5. What do you love most about your role managing the store? I love having somebody come in who is a blank canvas, and I can give them a completely new look. Having them try on a different color of jeans that they are not use to, for example, is always so much fun.
6. What are your current favorite items in the store? We have these really cool shirts from the John Lennon Collection. They are all inspired by John’s artwork and are all designed by Yoko Ono. We have these boots from a company called Thursday’s Boot Company. GQ Magazine recently named them the best boots for under $200. They come in lots of fun colors and pair great with a nice pair of jeans. All the denim in the store is proudly made in the USA — everywhere from Los Angeles, New York City and Raleigh, North Carolina.
7. Are there any new products or lines you will soon carry that really excite you? I’m really excited to be working with the Detroit Surf Co. and getting some of their T-shirts and sweatshirts for the summer. People don’t realize, this but depending on the weather, you can actually surf on many of the lakes around Michigan.
8. Do you have a signature look or accessory? My style is super casual, but I was super impressed with the new John Lennon line; I wear these shirts a lot.
9. A few items in your closet that you can’t live without? I’m always seen wearing anything from Detroit Respect which is a locally based company. One of my favorite T-shirts is a quote that I live by: “Believe There Is Good in Detroit.” You can pick up their products at the store.
10. What are your favorite 2019 style trends? I love shirts with cool patterns. I can’t wait for floral short-sleeve button-down shirts for this summer. There are so many polo-style shirts to update every man’s wardrobe. There are a lot of cool tie die T-shirts that I’ve seen at the fashion shows so that could be something fun to carry at the store. I think retro looks are definitely back in style.
11. What inspires your style? I spend a lot of time in Chicago, so I’m inspired by all the people walking the streets. I will just wander into boutiques and spend lots of time flipping through the racks and then try to bring back some of the ideas I find to Birmingham.
13. Favorite blog? Menswear Dog is a hilarious blog. As a dog lover myself, it’s perfect. They show all the latest men’s fashion trends on a dog instead of a human.
14. When not working, where are few local places you like to hang out? My favorite place to eat, hands down, is La Botana Mexican Restaurant in Troy.
15. Favorite quote or words to live by? “You have two hands: One to help yourself, the second to help others.”
16. Favorite coffee shop? I love to support local business so I would have to say Birmingham Roast. We all have to work together and support each other in the community. I love their hot chocolate; it is so tasty.
17. What’s you’re perfect weekend? A perfect weekend would consist of having perfect weather around 65-70 degrees and going on a long walk with Khloe. Taking pictures of the beautiful fall weather and maybe heading to a cider mill with friends and family.
Shop our favorite United On Woodward products on the SEEN Marketplace:
SHOP: Michigan map pocket flask, $29.50.
SHOP: Cognac suede scout boot, $149.
SHOP: Detroit T-shirts, $21.
Stop by Untied On Woodward at 223 S. Old Woodward in Birmingham. Follow @untiedonwoodward on Instagram and other social media accounts for in-store events and new products!