We first met Candice when we were opening a store in Detroit. We quickly realized that if you wanted to get a pulse on what was happening downtown, you talked to this super creative super-connector. She knows the mom-and-pops, the mural artists, and the creatives who are reestablishing the city as a modern force. As our Spotlight Series feature, we got to know more about who she is – a lynchpin of the community and champion of doing things her own way.
Candice Simons Returns to Motown in Style
A native Detroiter supercharges the downtown scene and diversifies her work with a roster of five businesses. They may all be in different industries, but the one thing they have in common is a knack for doing things differently and with fashionable flair.
Six years ago, Candice moved back to her hometown of Detroit. She started to rediscover what gives the city its magic and, in doing so, found her own. Now, this force in the community runs five businesses there - including a national outdoor advertising company, a restaurant, a lifestyle blog, a lifestyle brand and an events venue. No matter the industry, she thrives by expressing herself through inventive work and fearless fashion.
“Being a multihyphenate is something I always wanted but it wasn’t a master plan,” explains Candice.
“It’s insane. Like, I’m insane,” she laughs. “I’m a busybody. I love to be doing as opposed to sitting. And there’s not a place that I’m trying to get to – I just keep going and if I get to the top of the volcano then I still keep going, even if that means going down to get back up again.” Having this focused mentality and likeminded collaborators has helped her businesses grow organically along the way. Now, she’s primed for continued skyrocketing success for Brooklyn Outdoor, J’adore Detroit , The Loft // j'adore Detroit event space, Alley Taco, and Sable + Bone custom creations.
Each business has gotten to where it is today due to Candice’s curatorial instincts. “I’ve always been a curator at heart – whether that’s people, art, events, entertainment or design,” she says.
Her knack for introducing unexpected elements continues to garner attention and industry awards. Professionally, she’s done this by turning an Anheuser-Busch billboard into a “bill bar” where her team placed a shipping container on hydraulics and created a weekend sky-high pop-up bar. “It piques curiosities. It excites me. It becomes its own,” shares Candice, who also leverages this strategy personally by incorporating the unexpected into her personal style.
She describes her look as “super eclectic” for just this reason.
Picture combat boots, blazers, Balinese caftans and mixed animal prints. “I was mixing animal prints before it was happening,” she shares. It’s no wonder that her favorite on-set looks were: the jacket, dress, and belt in allover leopard.
“I loved the head-to-toe leopard look. That was a LOOK. It takes a daring person to rock it and I think I did a great job bringing it to life,” says our fierce model. She goes on to illustrate how she plans to dress up the endlessly soft, animal-print jacket with a power boot and dress it down with designer kicks. Last, the leopard belt made a delicate blue dress into a fun day-to-night business look.
Styles that transition are key to Candice. With a past life as a personal stylist, Candice believes in looks that can go between client lunches, car trips, and loft clean-ups. At the end of the day, her signature look comes off as a delicate mix of a fun, flirty and strong sense of self.
“Fashion has always been extremely important to me and how I express myself,” says Candice.
“I’m proud of staying true to myself in the way I present myself. In my industry, it’s easy to think I have to look like this or that. I do professional in my own way. It may not be what everyone else would wear but they get the point. I show where I fit in.” This point of view is something she’s curated from her ever-changing looks throughout her youth to her modern mood today – all styles witnessed by her dedicated circle of friends. They’ve been close since they were three years old and many who left town have since moved back. “I don’t think I would be anywhere close to where I am now without that support system,” Candice reflects.
This support allows the go-getter to be true to her life’s work – “being a good human being, a good boss, being kind to other people.”
She’s the first person to recommend a local artist for a gig or point a tourist in the direction of a local’s food truck. When she created her lifestyle blog J’adore Detroit, she became the go-to person for everything and everyone happening in the city. She keeps this intention to lift people up clear as she takes J’adore Detroit to cultures outside of Detroit and goes from work retreat to speaking engagement to business travel to much-needed vacation. Note: When she’s off-duty, Candice can often be found in her favorite place in the world: Bali. “I’ve been 7x,” she admits. These trips have also inspired her to work on new custom creations, including forthcoming fashions with an Eastern influence and her current j'adore Detroit collection that just hit the shelves including a candle scent named “Pomelo + Vetiver” and a fragrance named “Satori”, which means sudden enlightenment. Both the candle and the fragrance were curated with local brands she loves and celebrates in Detroit, but they are her own. "There is something about scent that enlightens and reminds you of not only your past and where you are going. That is why Satori was so fitting - reminding me of Detroit's story and my own" says Simons. She brings together bright citrus notes and deep woods and marries the the unexpected paring in a balanced blend
Her vision continues to drive her forward. “It works because I put everything into it – my energy and my life and that’s what carries it through and gives it staying power,” she says with equal parts determination and sheer enthusiasm.
What was your first ELOQUII purchase?
Destroyed denim jeans. It fit so well. I need to get another pair – now they’re really destroyed. I love them and live in them.
Who are your style icons?
Lauren Hutton and Sharon Stone for always mixing menswear styles and feminine pieces. Madonna and Debbie Harry for being super fearless. Instagram sensation Katie Sturino (@the12ishstyle) for the pieces she finds.
What’s your daily mantra?
I am happy, fully self-expressed. I am enough. I am worthy of love and everything is right in the world.
If you’re not in Detroit, where can you be found?
New York or Los Angeles
What trends are you rocking this season?
Mixing masculine and feminine pieces. Harem pants with a t-shirt and a blazer and rock-stud heels.
Love what you see? Shop Candice’s favorites and all of our newest arrivals for your shopping trip!