Rene Sanning is only local boutique owner in Atlanta who sells her own designs exclusively. Her store, Rene Rene, has been open in Little Five points for nearly 20 years;
“I remember one time I was doing a [fashion] show in the ’80s in New York, and I had ‘Rene Rene’ on my label and underneath that I had ‘Atlanta.’ And this one old gentleman that had been in the clothing business for a long time said, ‘Oh, I think you should take that “Atlanta” off of there. Unless it’s made in New York, nobody really cares.’
“But that’s not true anymore. I think that Atlanta is just as hip and cool as any major city, maybe cooler. And I’ve always had a love affair with Little Five Points. I believe that it has grown up a bit. It’s arty still, but the stores have gotten better — though there are a lot of great stores that have been there for a long time.
“I feel strongly about designs that are edgy but not trendy, so I try to do pieces that you can wear as long as you want to wear them. I have always been inspired by old movies. I’ve watched them so much that I know what they’re going to say, so I usually turn the sound off.
“I think that women should be glamorous. But I never want my clothing to look like vintage clothing. I want it to be updated to look modern, but inspired by the past. I’ve had customers constantly telling me that they still wear pieces they’ve had for years. That’s kind of what I set out to do.”