As a true Asheville native, I've witnessed this town evolve in many ways over the years. Growing up, we always shopped at the mall and enjoyed special occasion dinners somewhere along Tunnel Road. Sometimes at the old Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse on Patton Avenue. I think that pretty much paints the picture of how far we've come.
About seven years ago when I was living in Charleston, I worked in a boutique and would often talk about Asheville with my clients. Everyone always talked about how much they loved Asheville but how the shopping/retail scene was seriously lacking. You could outfit yourself in the finest outdoor gear this side of a Patagonia catalog, but chic separates? On-trend tops and tees? Designer denim? No one knew where to find them in the pre-Instagram age. And everyone kept saying "no one dresses up in Asheville."
Well. That last point is still up for debate. But today, Asheville's retail scene is thriving with the arrival of new boutiques (and some established favorites) you can find peppered throughout the city. One of the latest to come on the scene is blu29, a unique shop offering a blend of elevated basics and home decor with a modern, industrial design aesthetic.
Keep reading for more details on blu29, the owners, the brands they carry, and some personal favorites!
"Elevated everyday" is how I would describe their clothing. Mostly they carry knit tops, tees, and jeans....but really really nice tops, tees, and jeans. The kind you may have to splurge on a little but you'll wear forever because they fit so well.
Y'all know I'm an affordable fashion junkie but sometimes you need to spend more to get more. We've all heard the phrase "you get what you pay for." It's 1000% true about jeans and tees! They may not be the fanciest items hanging in your closet but aren't they the ones you want to look and fit you the best? We wear our basics everyday but the good ones aren't always easy to find. I know we're living in the age of online shopping but jeans are truly best purchased in person. Blu29 carries such a variety of brands and styles you can try until you find the magic pair!
That happened to me the first time I went there. I'd tried on all the jeans I "knew" like J. Brand and Frame and liked them....but then Heather, the clothing buyer and curator, introduced me to a brand I'd never heard of before called AMO Denim. Y'all those jeans made me look like I'd instantly dropped five pounds! I loved the skinny style with the frayed hem and the tomboy relaxed fit jean made out of the softest denim I'd ever worn! True story!
And this yellow tank? I saw it on the hanger and thought 'it's cute but too tight and short for me.' Heather encouraged me to try it, saying I'd be surprised, and she was SO right! It stretched where I needed it to stretch and forgave where I needed a little forgiveness. (I hadn't quite worked off the pizza from the night before LOL.) That's what you get when you pay a little extra for a well-constructed garment.
It's also what you get when the buyer has an extensive history in garment manufacturing and merchandising and knows what's what. Heather knows what's well-made and worth the price and offers great suggestions that will fit YOU, YOUR body, and YOUR style.
Leeann, her business partner, is a high-end local interior designer who's been working in Asheville for years. She's built up quite the client/fan base and now with blu29 we ALL get to benefit from Leeann's eye for stylish decor and design. All of the furniture, rugs, lighting, and decor you see in the store were handpicked by Leeann and just be warned -- you will want to move in to the store! It's sooo beautiful.
I've been wanting an oversized denim jacket with some distressing and this one from Ksubi is perfection. Ksubi is a high-end label sold at upscale retailers like Barneys and Farfetch...and here in Asheville at blu29! The brands they carry definitely give you that New York boutique feeling that makes you feel like you're on the cusp of fashion and in on the secrets of the fashion industry. Or is that just me?
Currently blu29 carries Liberty Black cowboy boots. Style wise, they're cut to look great with both long pants and short hemlines. So if you're thinking denim cut-offs or a floral mini dress and some cowboy boots, these are meant for you!
Comfort wise, they've got great arch support and are known for being really easy to wear. I keep telling everyone that a born-and-bred Texan told me they're some of the best you can get and to me that's the ultimate seal of approval when we're talking cowboy boots haha!
This outfit I wanted to wear out of the store. The perfect gray v-neck t-shirt and super slimming black skinny jeans? They're basically the first two building blocks of a killer wardrobe. Just so versatile and flattering! I could wear this to a meeting or on mom duty, or slip on some heels and a blazer for a fancier affair. Sometimes the best looks are the simplest ones.
And thanks to blu29 I'm a big believer in Monrow tees. So, so good.
Heather Stefani (l) and Leeann Mayes (r)
Blu29 is a gorgeous shop that I know you will all will LOVE next time you're in Asheville and/or downtown in the South Slope area. It's worth mentioning they do have free customer parking right beside the store -- no quarters necessary haha!
Here's the scoop on the brands and services they currently carry at blu29.
| Store Information |
146 Church Street
Interior design and personal styling services available
| Clothing |
On the Inside
| Decor |
Thank you to blu29 for partnering on this post! I do not accept partnerships with brands or retailers if I do not believe in or genuinely vouch for the product or business. All opinions stated herein are my own formed via my personal experiences and do not necessarily reflect those of blu29 or its employees.