Howie Mandel appears on the Today Show on Sept. 17, 2014, wearing a Win City T-shirt. (NBC)

Howie Mandel appears on the Today Show on Sept. 17, 2014, wearing a Win City T-shirt. (NBC)

Downtown Windsor clothing store BB Branded Boutique just received a high-profile boost from an unexpected customer: Howie Mandel.

The comedian and television hostappeared on the Today Show on Wednesday morning wearing one of the store’s exclusive Win City T-shirts.

“We’re astonished,” said store owner Ayad Saddy. “I didn’t think it was going to happen, but he said he would.”

Mandel picked up the T-shirt when he visited the Ouellette Avenue business last week. He was in town for a performance at Caesars Windsor on Sept. 13.

Howie Mandel with Today Show hosts on Sept. 17, 2014. (NBC)

Howie Mandel in his Win City shirt with Today Show hosts on Sept. 17, 2014. (NBC)

“He just walked right in,” said store manager Tony Oliverio. “I let him do his thing … I said, ‘Hey, you look familiar.’ He looked up and smiled. I just kept it professional and talked about our clothing lines.”

After purchasing several pairs of import pants, Mandel inquired about a display of Win City gear — the store’s own brand of Windsor-centric clothing.

Saddy said Win City’s distinctive logos were designed to raise the community’s image.

“I saw there was a gap in the market, as far as things that are pro-Windsor,” Saddy said. “I wanted something where you could say, ‘Hey, this is our T-shirt.’ You know, you got your ‘I love NY’ T-shirts? Well, we wanted something that’s cool, that’s original, that represents us.”

Saddy said the response has been terrific: Since the collection’s launch this summer, Win City shirts have been among the store’s best-selling items.

Win City gear at BB Branded Boutique in downtown Windsor. (Tyler Brownbridge / The Windsor Star)

Win City gear at BB Branded Boutique in downtown Windsor. (Tyler Brownbridge / The Windsor Star)

BB Branded Boutique celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Saddy said the store’s philosophy is “cutting-edge street lifestyle.”

For example, the pants with gathered cuffs that Mandel bought — made by California-based Publish Brand and Australia-based Zanerobe streetwear — aren’t available anywhere else in the city.

“We’re a sneaker boutique first, but when it comes to clothing — we gotta be ahead,” Saddy said. “We go very exclusive, we go very tight. When we get a product, we have the rights for all of Windsor.”

BB Branded Boutique is located at 347 Ouellette Ave. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m on Sundays. Online: www.bbbranded.com.


BB Branded owner Ayad Saddy wears a Win City top. (Tyler Brownbridge / The Windsor Star)

BB Branded owner Ayad Saddy wears a Win City top. (Tyler Brownbridge / The Windsor Star)

dchen@windsorstar.com