Designer Claudia Grau Opens The Grau Haus, in Historic Crossroads Of The World Shopping Mall

Top Quote Legendary Melrose Avenue designer emerges from her private clientele business to open trio of retail spaces in Hollywood. End Quote
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA (1888PressRelease) October 08, 2011 - Fashion designer Claudia Grau is pleased to announce the opening of her most recent fashion and home furnishings store concept, The Gräu Haus, with an upcoming grand opening celebration and fashion show on Wednesday, October 19th, timed to coincide with Los Angeles Fashion Week. 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.

    After decades of success in her famous store on Melrose Avenue and her equally successful appointment-only studio for private clientele on Sunset Boulevard, 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, originally a snack bar in the 1930's and 40's, which 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. Her retail spaces will offer salon-type intimacy with small craft dinners and evenings of spoken word by people of interest in Los Angeles. In addition to various special events, the Grau destination will feature pop-up stores. "We have created a gallery setting for collectibles and hand-crafted work that will change frequently: one month a bookstore, the next month a men's store, and so on," explains Claudia. "The Gräu Häus was created to be a shopping adventure. Customers can expect to be surprised with what they find."

    About Claudia 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. She has opened more than 300 wholesale accounts and sold her signature Japanese kimono jackets into many major department stores. Her Melrose store, with its curved wood walls and cracked tile façade, was featured in many magazines.

    In 1994, after the birth of her second child, Grau closed her shop on Melrose. In 1996, she opened a studio in the Crossroads of the World complex. For the last 15 years, Grau's studio has been an appointment-only location for her many clients including Matt Groening (The Simpsons) and Larry Charles (Borat and Seinfeld). She has also sold her garments at artisan craft shows, while raising her family with her husband of 21 years.

    Always upbeat and inspirational, Claudia Grau doesn't follow a master plan, but sees life as an adventure. Following serendipity, she takes the next inspired action that seems the right thing to do. Recently her studio was overflowing with fabric and a friend observed her new storage space in the Crossroads would make a great retail store. With her three children almost raised, Grau allowed the idea to unfold into reality.

    For more information about Claudia Grau and The Gräu Haus, please visit and "Gräu Design" on Facebook. An e-commerce website,, will launch in early November. To attend the grand opening and fashion show on October 19 at 7pm, RSVP to 323-461-4462. (Space is limited.) The Gräu Haus is located at 6671 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1511, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Store hours are listed on the website.

    About Crossroads of the World
    The historic Crossroads of the World has been credited as America's first outdoor shopping center and is known today as a famous Hollywood landmark due to its iconic 60-foot neon tower with spinning globe on Sunset Boulevard at Las Palmas Avenue. Originally intended to feature retail space on the ground floor and office space on the second floor, its central building was designed to suggest an ocean liner coming into port, surrounded by small international villages (Old English, Spanish, California Mediterranean, French, Italian, Moorish, European, and Early American /Cape Cod) with cottage-style bungalows. The Crossroads was designed by Robert Derrah and built in 1936, and has become a part of Hollywood lore.

    The Crossroads was used for location shooting in many films (L.A. Confidential, Indecent Proposal), television shows (Dragnet, Melrose Place, Charmed, Dexter) commercials (McDonald's, Ford, Mattel) and music videos. Alfred Hitchcock, Tim Burton, the Eagles and Jackson Browne are a few of the many famous filmmakers and musicians who have had offices or recorded music there. The Screen Actor's Guild, Billboard magazine and The Hollywood Reporter once leased offices there as well. A reproduction of the Crossroads' iconic tower and spinning globe can be seen inside the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida.

    Today, Crossroads is the creative home for producers, film companies, casting agencies, publicists, costume designers, film and television writers, music publishers and recording companies. The Gräu stores will be the first retail spaces at the Crossroads open to the public in years, reminiscent of the center's early days when movie stars shopped there. (For more information, visit

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