STORE: Burn Rubber

CITY: Royal Oak, MI

SINCE: 2004

OWNED BY: Rick Williams and Roland Coit

PRICES: $$$ (out of 5)

WHY WE COSIGN: With all the talk of the diminished auto industry and its effect on Detroit's economy, it's hard to think of any business prospering in the Motor City in 2009. Especially a small boutique that sells a cool crop of limited edition sneakers, t-shirts and fitteds. If you believe CNN and Fox News, people in the D are too cash strapped and depressed to conspicuously drop dough on the latest wares to stay fly, right? If that's the case, no one told Rick Williams and Roland Coit, owners of one of Detroit's hottest shops, Burn Rubber...

Originally founded in 2004, the shop struggled until Rick and Roland took over and completely turned the store around in 2007. Seeing the potential in the 680 square foot store, the new owners decided to stock the shelves with a wide assortment of brands and styles, making it clear that their motto is quality and quantity. Did we mention that the Burn Rubber x New Era fitteds have taken the nation by storm? The brand has also been getting shine from Detroit natives Big Sean and Mike Posner and has even managed to land itself in Northwest Airlines Skymiles magazine. Not to mention they plan on opening a new location. Seems pretty damn prosperous to us.

BRANDS CARRIED: Burn Rubber Private Label, Stüssy, 10.Deep, Crooks & Castles, Play Cloths, Acapulco Gold, Diamond Supply, New Era, UNDFTD, Concepts, Black Scale, Nike, adidas, New Balance, Supra, Puma, Pro-Keds, Gourmet, and Jordan.

MOST POPULAR ITEMS: Burn Rubber Private Label New Era Fitted Caps.

Complex: What was the inspiration behind Burn Rubber, and how has it influenced the overall look and feel of your store?
Rick Williams: Detroit is the Motor City and its culture is mainly inspired by the auto industry. Burn Rubber is a term that used to be used in street racing. Cars have tires and we have sneakers. That's where the name came from. We try do do things that make sense for us here in the mid-west. We are proud of where we are from and we try to represent. 
Complex: What are your retail plans for the future?
Rick Williams: We have another location in the works now.

Complex: Any anticipated collaborations?
Rick Williams: We definitely have some collaborations in the works. All I can say is that they are with some reputable sneaker and clothing companies. Stay tuned for more info.
Complex: What are the next trends in men's style?
Rick Williams: I think that things are going to tone down. Not as much of the bright colors and crazy graphics. I think that there is going to be more focus on the smaller details and quality of materials.

202 West 4th St.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Mon-Thurs: 12-7 p.m.
Fri + Sat: 12-8 p.m.
Sunday: 12-5 p.m.