Byline: Anita J. Finkelstein

ATLANTA — Sandi Denton — aka Pepa, of the Grammy-award-winning rap group Salt-N-Pepa — is bringing her fashion influence to Atlanta with a new store, Hollyhood.
Denton and partner Sonya Owens opened the 1,700-square-foot apparel shop in the Buckhead neighborhood, near the recently expanded Lenox Square Mall, which opened Nov. 21.
The store is billed as an interactive experience mixing fashion with music and sports. “It’s a trendy hip-hop store that’s going to have lots of energy,” said Denton.
Denton said she chose Atlanta for the flagship unit because she likes the city’s music and street culture. She is looking into additional stores in Chicago, New Orleans, Dallas and Los Angeles.
The store, which opened with a big party last month including rap group Naughty by Nature; Evander Holyfield; Denton’s partner, Salt, and Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell, will carry lesser-known hip-hop labels such as Naughty Gear, Pelle Pelle, Wu-Tang and Kinte Kids, with retail prices running from $25 to $150. The pair said they did not yet have a projection for first-year sales.
“Hollyhood’s sales for the first month are exceeding our expectations,” said Owens. “Everything from Pelle Pelle, Phat Farm and Mecca is blowing out of the store. Customers are buying entire outfits, the cap, the pants and the jacket from a line. They want to dress like what they see the artists in videos wearing and they come in and buy the whole look.”
The interior of the store, done by New Jersey-based Focal Point Designs, is a recreated “Hood” cityscape with famous sports and music memorabilia on the walls. There are plans for monthly special appearances by both music and sports stars.
Denton and Owens have also created a full line of Hollyhood sportswear for men and women, along with a line of collectible logo merchandise.
“Music and fashion are a lot alike in that designers and singers are both struggling for a chance at stardom,” said Denton.
The store will also carry the better-known Karl Kani label.

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