Detroit – A little over five years ago, the city of Detroit – widely known for being the epicentre of the American car industry a century ago – filed for the largest bankruptcy in the country’s history. After decades of economic and demographic decline, Motor City had accumulated nearly 16 billion euros of debt and, by 2016, around 36 per cent of its inhabitants lived in poverty. It was rock bottom – but the only other direction was up.
Today, Detroit still has a long journey ahead to re-stabilise its infrastructure and the lives of its people, but the imminent promise of revitalisation and repopulation is a silver lining. The recent opening of the Shinola Hotel – the local luxury goods company’s first hospitality endeavour with 129 guest rooms and a living-room-like lobby – is representative of that. It’s a brand that, since its conception in 2011, has always been vocal about its pride for being based in Detroit. And, despite the hardships, they stayed loyal to their city: their watch, leather and bicycle factories – and jobs – were never outsourced.