by Stephen Garner

Butch Blum David Matsudaira, owner of Squire Fine Men’s Apparel in Brookfield, Wisconsin, has acquired shares in Seattle-based retailer Butch Blum, with the expectation of acquiring majority ownership during the course of this calendar year.

Matsudaira opened Squire Fine Men’s Apparel in 2011 after more than three decades of fashion apparel experience including time at The Bon Ton Stores, Gottschalks and The Bon Marche. Squire’s business has grown substantially under Matsudaira’s leadership.

Butch Blum was the first European menswear specialty store in the Northwest, opening its doors in 1974. It has been a leader in the fashion industry as well as the Seattle downtown business community for over 40 years. Founder and past president of his eponymous store, Butch Blum was inspired to open his shop after stints at both the Bon Marche and Jay Jacobs during the 70’s. His wife and current Butch Blum CEO, Kay Smith-Blum, was a former buyer for Neiman Marcus and joined the company in 1981. Butch Blum houses both men’s and women’s apparel, featuring exclusive collections for the quality fashion savvy shopper.

Interior of Butch Blum
Interior of Butch Blum

The Blums cited Matsudaira’s ties to the Seattle community (he and his wife and Judy are natives of the city), his strong business acumen and his deep understanding of the legacy of fine service that Butch Blum represents to the Northwest fashion consumer as reasons for going forward with the sale.

“Something like this is always bittersweet: the business is our baby so we wanted to be sure it’s a perfect match and that our talented team stays intact,” Smith-Blum told MR. “Multiple people in recent months expressed an interest in taking it over but we felt David is as perfect as it gets. Aside from being a great merchant, he and his wife are both born and raised in Seattle so feel very connected to the community. So much of our legacy is about giving back to the community. We are thrilled that David will continue the tradition.”

“Both Judy and I are fully aware of the good will and stellar reputation of Butch Blum in the Northwest community, and look forward to being the standard bearers of the company in the future,” said Matsudaira. “Butch Blum has a strong team of merchants, tailors, operational and promotional staff from which we are eager to learn and lead.”

Both Kay Smith-Blum and Butch Blum will continue to travel in the marketplace over the next two seasons as transition consultants with the Butch Blum buying teams. Smith-Blum will continue as CEO until final stock acquisitions are made, most likely by the end of 2016. The agreement also contracts her as a management consultant for one year. Matsudaira will create an intermediary management team at Squire during the next six months and take up residence in Seattle over the summer of 2016.

Added Matsudaira: “I look forward to dipping our toes in the luxe market for Squire as well as learning from one of the industry’s best.”

Butch Blum


  1. All the best to David MATSUDAIRA
    He is a wonderful merchant and will take Butch Blum to the next level

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