BLAKE NIEMAN-DAVIS has made a business out ?of butts. Specifically, making yours look good in a pair of jeans. Since first opening his NW 23rd Avenue boutique, Blake, in 2003, the 41-year-old has earned a reputation as a kind of denim demigod with a knack for sizing up shoppers in a second and handing them the perfect pair.
“I want this to be the best-fitting jean they’ve ever had,” Nieman-Davis says. “If I don’t have what they need, I’ll send them off with nothing, because that’s better.”
But with last summer’s opening of Blake’s new, bigger space just off W Burnside Street, there’s little chance of customers going home empty-handed. The 3,700-square-foot shop holds more than 30 denim brands, from premium staples like Seven and Joe’s to harder-to-find designs like Kicking Mule and Edwin. And when Pendleton debuts its Portland Collection in the fall, Blake will be one of only two west-side boutiques to carry the line. “Collaborations between smaller local businesses are the wave of the future,” says Nieman-Davis. “They create innovative shopping experiences that will allow these smaller retailers to compete with the big box stores.”
To that end, Nieman-Davis enlisted local design firm Compressed Pattern to help weave bricolage from the architectural salvage company Aurora Mills into Blake’s décor for an authentic, lived-in feel, with items like old world maps and a 1910 carousel horse (all available for purchase). And this month, Blake will partner with Southeast’s Water Avenue Coffee to open a coffee shop in the store’s greenhouse area, so you can perk up your senses while Blake perks up your, um, posterior.