Shinola Introduces Love Locks Installation in Downtown Detroit

The city is living up to its Paris of the West reputation
Love Locks
Shinola Love Lock photograph courtesy of Shinola

For years, tourists flocked to Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge in Paris that overlooks the River Seine. The destination offered picturesque views that only a French waterway can deliver. But, even more attractive, was the bridge’s popular attraction for romantics. Starting in 2008, couples began attaching padlocks, more lovingly known as “Love Locks,” to Pont des Arts’ fencing.

They’d engrave their name into each padlock, and after it was attached, throw the key into the Seine. The intent was to make a romantic gesture that could stand the test of time — well, that is until 2015, when city officials began to cut down each lock. They cited damage to the bridge as their reasoning for ending the beloved Parisian tradition.

Fast-forward to 2019, and Detroit-based retailer Shinola is attempting to bring Love Locks back. In a partnership with Troy-based manufacturer Commando Lock Company, Shinola is now offering its version of the infamous Love Locks. Shinola Love Locks, which retail for $25 each, feature a Shinola watch dial-inspired charm, which can be engraved with a couple’s initials.

Taking a lead from the Pont des Arts, engraved Shinola Love Locks can be attached to a Love Locks Fence in Parker’s Alley, which is located directly behind the Shinola Hotel in downtown Detroit.

“It’s a spot where Detroiters can lock in their love or share a special memory,” says Daniel Caudill, creative director of Shinola. “This project is really about building something that fosters a positive emotional connection to the city.”

Shinola’s Love Locks are available for purchase and engraving exclusively at the retailer’s store at 1424 Woodward Ave. For more information, visit

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