A new high-end women’s clothing boutique just opened downtown. Read on for all the retail therapy details!
When you step inside Le Lieu, you feel the style and panache of luxury boutiques around the world, all right from its new home in the Carew Tower downtown.
“When initially coming up with the concept, it was integral to us that we become the destination for women of all ages and sizes, where they shop for pieces that they can’t find anywhere else in Cincinnati, while also being able to gain styling knowledge in order to better shop for themselves in the future,” says Le Lieu co-founder Melissa Ohntrup.
The upscale women’s boutique is part of Hellman Retail Group – the parent company behind Hellman Clothiers and Blaine’s Fine Men’s Apparel.
Owner Chuck Hellman spent the past 30 years working for and running successful fashion brands in New York before returning to his hometown to bring the finest clothing the world has to offer to the Queen City. That’s when he teamed up with Ohntrup, a native Cincinnatian, who has seven years experience in image consulting and wardrobe styling, to launch Le Lieu.
Currently, the store carries women’s clothing, outerwear, shoes, accessories, and jewelry. “When buying pieces for the store, I try to be sure that nothing is too trendy as to where it can only be worn for a short period of time,” says Ohntrup. “It’s very important to me that each item be high quality, yet stylish. Each seasonal buy is also strategic in that most of the pieces in the store can be paired with one another, creating multiple, versatile looks.”
Ohntrup says that she designed the space at Le Lieu to be aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, where the customers who walk through the door can not only shop for new clothing but can also talk about their wardrobe struggles.
“Unfortunately, the climate of retail has changed drastically over the years and has really lost what I feel is the most important aspect – the experience,” she says. “From being able to talk to someone who has knowledge and experience to making them feel welcome, as well as trying clothing on in a fitting room that is well lit and clean, my goal is to be sure every customer leaves Le Lieu not only with pieces that can be integrated into their current wardrobe, but also feel as though they have a better understanding of how to build a cohesive wardrobe that’s easy to wear and has longevity.”
Ohntrup prides herself on being able to help customers find pieces that they can add to their current wardrobe and even how to make their current wardrobe more versatile – thanks to an on-site tailor who comes in on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
“Most people don’t have an off-the-rack body, sometimes all it takes for a garment to turn into the perfect piece is a little tailoring,” she adds.
Le Lieu is located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, inside the Carew Tower Atrium on the first floor. Carew Tower Atrium is located at 441 Vine Street.