With fun accessories and hard-to-find brands, UnTied on Woodward isn’t a typical men’s boutique. Owner Erik Miller takes us behind the SEEN of his fashion-forward and dog-friendly shop.
By Rachel Pepe
Photography by Derrick Martinez
Nestled off Old Woodward Avenue in downtown Birmingham, UnTied on Woodward sits behind an unassuming storefront. But the shop’s interior is far from run-of-the-mill. There are brick walls lined with vintage-looking collages, shelves that showcase Detroit memorabilia and everything from themed jigsaw puzzles and beer glasses to posters of Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley on display.
The most unique (and cutest) accent, though, is Khloe the golden retriever — she belongs to UnTied’s owner, Erik Miller — who greets customers as they walk in the door.
“We offer a dog discount,” says Miller, who gives 10 percent off to shoppers who bring their pooch to the store. “I think that’s kind of unique.”
Offering something different is a central theme of UnTied, which Miller opened in 2018 after losing his job when the Carson’s department store where he worked closed (the company that operated the retailer went bankrupt). The 29-year-old Royal Oak resident had plenty of retail experience — he’d managed a sunglass store, a surf shop and “worked almost every chain store in the mall,” he says — and was inspired to open his own business by his grandfather, who owned an insurance company. (Photos of him hang around the store.) “He always dressed really nicely and instilled that in me,” says Miller, who got help from his family to start UnTied.
With its mix of button-downs, tees, jeans and accessories sourced from brands like Ben Sherman, Banks Journal, Raleigh Denim Workshop and Kurt River, UnTied features casual, everyday basics — but with a twist. “There are things in the store that you can’t find online or at a department store,” says Miller, who gets product inspiration by walking the floors at trade shows in Chicago and Las Vegas. He points to the shop’s John Lennon Collection, a brand inspired by the late musician’s artwork and designed by his widow, Yoko Ono. “There are things that you’d have to come here to find,” he says. (Another exclusive: shirts from Miller’s own brand, called Just a Kid from Detroit.)
As for 2020 trends, Miller suggests men begin stocking up on floral prints and tie-dye. “Everything is going back to that retro look [from] the ’80s and ’90s,” he says. “Everybody is tie-dying T-shirts and sweatshirts. That’s all coming back into style.”
In the future, Miller, who hopes to open more locations, is also planning to expand into women’s clothing. “[UnTied] is bringing a new sense of fashion [to the community],” he says.
“It’s kind of like a destination.”
UnTied on Woodward
223 S Old Woodward Ave