Above, an artist’s rendering that “embodies the city’s rough leather spirit.”
Continuing on their mission to bring back Detroit manufacturing, Shinola announced an ambitious plan to wrap the entirety of Detroit in fine, hand-stitched American leather.
According to spokesperson Katie Mays, the Detroit-based manufacturer known for handcrafted watches and bikes came up with this plan in order to further its attempted revitalization of Detroit. “It’s time to bring industry and copious amounts of leather back to this beautiful city,” said Mays.
Critics of the plan worry that covering an entire city in leather will essential services inaccessible to lower-income residents of Detroit. But Shinola executives disagree. Mays added, “Those services weren’t accessible to those residents anyway. We’re doing the citizens of Detroit a favor by rejuvenating the spirit for everyone in Detroit. If more residents started buying $1,000 watches, our timeline for leathering would speed up noticeably.”
Shinola is known for making watches and bicycles assembled in their Detroit plant. “We make quality leather goods, and we love Detroit. I’m proud of my city and my craftsmanship, so I see no reason not to cover the city in leather,” stated Shinola founder Tom Kartsotis. “Seeing a city like Tokyo or Berlin covered in leather would be an insult to everything we stand for here at Shinola.”
City and state government officials are hopeful about the new plan, and have given Shinola significant tax benefits as a result. Tourism officials have considered new slogans like “Detroit: America’s Plushest City,” or “Buttery Smooth Motown Leather,” but nothing has been officially adopted yet.
In a statement released this week, Mayor Mike Duggan said, “The 20th century was a century of steel for Detroit. The 21st century is a century of real American leather covering city buildings.”
At press time, Shinola employees were seen attempting to stretch a large sheet of leather across the Opera House.