A men's fashion expert took over a one-of-a-kind store in Montgomery to ensure the Cincinnati area continues to have access to high-end men's apparel.

"I always wanted to make sure the store always looked nice and worked to maintain Blaine's the best that I could," Chuck Hellman said.

Hellman, a University of Cincinnati alumnus who lives in New Jersey, became the sole owner May 9th, 2013 of Blaine's Men's Fine Apparel, 9407 Montgomery Road, earlier this month.

"I really enjoyed being a part of it and I had a very good relationship with my partner, but I wanted to take a more active interest in the store," Hellman said.

He used to co-own the store with retired Cincinnati surgeon Dr. Joel Korelitz, but Korelitz wanted to take a smaller role and focus on teaching medicine. So, when the opportunity arose Hellman bought the store, which he says is the only one of its kind in the area.

"It is a whole different shopping experience when you walk into the store. A lot of these brands we carry exclusively," Hellman said.

Hellman said Blaine's is the largest carrier of Robert Graham in the area and also carries Eton and Brioni, which Hellman said is a favorite of Reds player Joey Votto, who recently signed on as a spokesman for the store.

"He likes what we are doing and wanted to be a part of it," Hellman said.

Hellman said he is able to secure the exclusive brands at the store because of his relationship with the market. Hellman runs an apparel brand out of New York City.

"You wouldn't see these brands elsewhere in Cincinnati, you just won't see them," he said.

Hellman said the store has been upgraded in the last year to add 500 square feet of space and give the store a more luxury look.

"We are really trying to get that Cincinnati customer to understand that there is a store in Cincinnati that is very New York quality," he said.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014