Sabriyah Barrowcliff brings a unique touch of luxury and style to Shinola’s Canfield Flagship and the newest storefront on Woodward Avenue in the Shinola Hotel.
No stranger to luxury, Sabriyah developed her own fashion vocabulary studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, working with professional stylists in Europe, and managing luxury retail at Donna Karan and Prada in Paris and London. She’s a proud momma of two boys and you can usually catch her rockin’ the latest Shinola looks around town.
EXP: You’ve worked with luxury retailers in Paris, London and New York. How did you end up in Detroit at Shinola?
SB: I had been living and working in London for 10 years, and felt it was a good time to shift to more meaningful work in my career. Moving back to the states made sense. My husband is a Detroit native and we felt it was important our two small children grew up among the four generations of Barrowcliffs.
“I think Detroit builds character”-SB
EXP: What similarities does Detroit have to other large cities you’ve lived in before?
SB: It’s vibrancy, cultural diversity, museums, nightlife, coffee culture, and deep architectural & design history. Detroit has all the same attributes of any great city — a public open-air market, the rich musical history, but is completely unique in that it doesn’t relate to any other city.
EXP: What’s your go-to Shinola item?
SB: The Cass Tote is super functional. I have a busy life and I can fit all of my stuff in it. I’m always digging through my bag searching for things, so the key fob attachment is a bit of a lifesaver.
EXP: What sets the Shinola apart from other lifestyle brands?
SB: We have continuous feedback between our guests and the design teams. We take into account what our guests want in our design process and we’re hyper focused on creating the highest quality products and manufacturing as much as possible in Detroit. A core principle of our brand is supporting workforce development and creating meaningful local jobs.
EXP: When customers walk in the door, what are they most surprised to about?
SB: How friendly, relaxed, and instantly welcoming the atmosphere is. Nothing is a bother and we really do try to make every single guest happier than when they walked through the door.
EXP: What spaces at the Shinola Hotel are you most excited about?
SB: The Evening Bar because of the intimate vibe and The Ballrooms because they have been lovingly restored to their previous grandeur. Parker’s Alley, once activated, will become a beautiful pedestrian shopping destination featuring grass root and global businesses like Drought, Posie Atelier, and The Lip Bar. I hope concepts like this will be replicated in other parts of the city.
EXP: What is your favorite item that is unique to the Shinola Hotel and sold at the boutique?
SB: The Shinola Hotel Watch! It’s such a unique marker of this historical moment in time for our brand. It’s a classic Runwell with the hotel address – 1400 Woodward – on the dial. This sort of detail that only the wearer can appreciate resonates deeply with me.