IT’S ALL IN THE GENES
THANKS TO THE ARRENDALE SISTERS, STYLE-SAVVY DENIM DIE-HARDS NOW HAVE A PLACE TO SCOPE OUT THE HOTTEST DENIM LINES: BUCKHEAD’S BLUE GENES.
Byline: Toni M. Lubin
The Arrendale sisters not only share the same genes, but since the opening of their Buckhead shop Blue Genes, the trio now share the responsibility of outfitting Atlanta’s denim die-hards in trendy jeans.
Family ties inspired the name of the store, which opened in August and is run by sisters Jennifer, Julie and Jane Arrendale.
The women opened the store with a mission: to offer hipsters the newest and hottest jean lines. The store’s retail price points range from $98 to $400.
One of the store’s most popular lines is See by Chloe, which Jane describes as “absolutely beautiful, feminine but edgy, definitely a young line and very unique.”
Other brands the store carries are Red Engine, Seven, Paper Denim & Cloth and Serfontaine.
Jane said the versatility of denim has fueled the store’s sales of the 10 jeans lines it carries.
“You can wear anything with jeans, from a little causal rhinestone T-shirt to a cashmere sweater for a more dressy look,” she said.
Jane said the store’s nondenim lines, including Rebecca Taylor and Development, mesh well with the denim lines. The store also carries lingerie from Cosabella, Love Tanjane and Dream in Pink, as well as accessories from various vendors.
Denim trends in demand by the store’s customers include sexy low-rise cuts, belted jeans, rhinestone embellishments, novelty washes and boot-leg cuts.
The sisters began toying around with the idea of owning a store during college, but finally got into the jeans business after working in retail for a number of years. Each had their own post-college retail experiences. Jennifer, 30, worked at Neiman Marcus for 10 years. Jane and Julie, 27-year-old twins, worked at Atlanta Beach, a Buckhead swimwear store, for seven years.
The three women researched the market carefully before going into business. Jennifer spent time in Paris researching boutiques, taking notes on trendy lines. The sisters also shopped stores in New York and Los Angeles, cherry-picking lines.
In today’s hot jeans environment, celebrity endorsements affect jeans sales, the women have learned.
Jane recalled, “I had a customer come in yesterday asking for Ya-Ya jeans. The customer had never seen or heard of Ya-Ya before reading about the jeans in In Style. Jessica Simpson, a music entertainment celebrity, was quoted as saying she could not live without her Ya-Ya jeans, and the customer wanted to try on a pair.”
Jane said she and her sisters wanted the store to have a “very clean, modern, contemporary feeling,” so they opted for white walls, exposed ceilings and hardwood floors.