Fashion designer Claudia Grau announced the opening of her most recent fashion and home furnishings store concept, The Gräu Haus. The grand opening celebration and fashion show coincides with the Los Angeles Fashion Week on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011. Grau’s trio of retail spaces will bring shoppers back to Sunset Boulevard’s Crossroads of the World, a historic-cultural monument credited as America’s first outdoor shopping mall, dating back to 1936. An innovative retail concept, The Gräu Haus will be a lively environment where artists, collectors and crafts people can connect with an audience to share and sell their work.
Grau’s new retail concept brings together three separate retail spaces in the Crossroads of the World complex. The Gräu Haus (her studio and by-appointment-only space), located on 6679 Sunset Boulevard, will display her Home Collection and feature other artisans’ work. Two additional stores will be located around the corner (in the courtyard) at 6671 Sunset Boulevard: Gräu, the main store where Grau’s designer clothing and accessories will be found, and The Small Gräu Haus will house designer hats, gloves and a wide range of accessories. Each location will feature the work of changing guest artists and collectors, along with Grau’s designs.
“I wanted to create an environment that is more than just a store, where things change regularly,” says Grau.
Claudia Grau has been a creative force in Los Angeles for more than 30 years. In 1979, at age 21, she ventured into the fashion world by founding her company, Gräu Design. In 1980, she opened her first store on then-sleepy Melrose Avenue (with only eight stores from Doheny to Highland), and became one of the pioneering designer-retailers who made Melrose famous for fashion.
Her shop was an instant success with celebrities and stylists. As an early pioneer in deconstruction and collaged clothing, Grau was named an LA mover and shaker by the LA Weekly at age 24.
Grau has referred to her bold, up-cycled, collage clothing and eclectic designs as “adventurous clothing for fearless women.” She was likely the first modern eco-friendly designer, repurposing used clothing to create new garments in the early 1980’s, and she continues to use primarily recycled clothing and fabrics to this day. Grau produces free-cut garments (most without the use of patterns) that are hand-died and hand-sewn.
Her distinctive one-of-a-kind work has been seen on TV shows including Dharma & Greg, The Cosby Show and Moonlighting, commercials, and films including the cult classic Heathers. Grau has designed for celebrities including Cher, Diane Keaton, and Bette Midler. Her Melrose store, with its curved wood walls and cracked tile façade, was featured in many magazines.
For more information about Claudia Grau and The Gräu Haus, please visit http://www.thegrauhaus.com and “Gräu Design” on Facebook. The Gräu Haus is located at 6671 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1511, Los Angeles, CA 90028.