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After seminal Los Angeles-based punk magazine Slash folded in 1981, publisher and graphic designer Steve Samioff created Stuff. Hitting newsstands in 1981, the image-heavy, large-format publication was chock full of illustrators, artists, hip retail boutiques, creative typesetting and avant-garde funky design.

Samioff and his crew operated the magazine from an office on Larchmont Boulevard (before moving to Wilshire) in Los Angeles which also doubled as 'Steve's House of Fine Arts' - a gallery showcase when Samioff became an art dealer. The space later became artsy furniture store Cozmopole. Samioff also designed the logo for Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken's City Restaurant on La Brea Avenue, which opened in 1985.

Long after the magazine folded, Samioff (along with Mick Haggerty) operated the Hope Springs Hotel in Desert Hot Springs.

Among the many advertisers were a number of places that deserve a tip of the hat;

Cowboys & Poodles
Affectionately refered to by scensters as 'Cowpoo', the Melrose Avenue store opened in 1979 by Roger Vega, Paul Glynn (and later on Phil Heath). Cowboys & Poodles was the first to sell unused, perfect-condition 50's clothing and became an instant hit with bands looking for their vintage duds. The store would later supplement its in-demand vintage stock with lines from new designers such as Goodman Fashion Parts, Mary Adams, Kalinka and Nasty Habits.

By 1985, the store expanded by selling furntiture and tableware, but shuttered within a year (supposedly the IRS paid a visit). The space was occupied by another vintage boutique 'Two-Timer'. Owner Paul Glynn segued into interior design and worked on a home by fellow designer and store owner Claudia Grau.

Claudia Gräu's opening night party for her Melrose Avenue store was held in the parking lot, complete with steel band. Describing her designs as "wacky playwear for adults" targeted for the creative professional woman, the successful boutique carried everything from parachute cloth sportswear and houndstooth pedal pushers to mohair hand-knit sweaters and metallic skirts. Inspired by her many travels, some of Grau's original designs were made from hand-loomed Guatemalan fabric.

In fact it wasn't unusual to see Gräu's well cut designs all over town, on TV shows such as 'Moonlighting' and adorned by celebrities. The Los Angeles Times reported in an April 1983 article that Cher herself walked in and opened her purse to the tune of $1,200. And no less than actress Rae Dawn Chong was seen sporting Gräu's sarong skirt and bolero jacket for her appearance on the Late Show.

In 1990, Gräu's 'Contemporary Collection' made its way to high-end department store I.Magnin which featured sport separates of patchworked antique Japanese kimono silks. Claudia also ventured in to napkins and placemats, which were available at Freehand.

After the store closed around 1990, Claudia opened The Gräu Haus in Hollywood.

Operated by Lynda Weinman, who went on to form a successful and lucrative online learning platform, the new wave store began on Melrose before heading West to the Sunset Plaza. Known for carrying cultural artifacts, Vertigo sold contemporary L.A. aesthetic; Gregory Poe's vinyl neckties, parachute-cloth bags, sunglasses and accessories. In the late 1960's, the Sunset space was occupied by bridal store Sylvi's, which sold 'doll-size' gowns, presumably for the smaller bride. After Vertigo moved out, the location became Chantilly.

Just William
Formerly a spot known as The Ashram and then Suedan Gallery, Just William on Melrose Avenue opened in 1979 and sold 'English punk'. By all accounts, that included oversized sweatshirts, silk-screened t-shirts, hot pink spandex pants and black leather jackets with lots of zippers. It was said that Just William was the only store in L.A. selling a full line of Biba cosmetics. But the stock wasn't entirely imported from the land of zebra crossings and biscuits, the Hollywood store sold hats from local milliner 'I Love Ricky', lingerie from Susan Kyle and the 'Darling I Love Your Dress' line (Julie Hewitt and Diana Espaillat).

Repeat Performance
As its clever name implied, this Melrose Avenue shop was another go to for vintage apparel; bowling shirts, white sportcoats, mens smoking jackets, tweed suits from the 40's and Gibson Girl blouses for women. Located in the former Selective Eye art gallery, the space later became Bakery on Melrose.

Tiger Rose
This short-lived store located across from Paramount Studios on Melrose was owned by Mike Sagara and his wife Yoko (not that one). Known as a punk shrine, Tiger Rose carried studded belts, wristbands, chokers, glitter spandex t-shirts and shorts with gold trim. In addition to Nestle 'Touch of Glitter' hair spray, the tiny store sold Japanese toys and original artworks.

Junk for Joy
Located a stone's throw from The Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood, the well-liked treasure outlet opened around 1978 and was owned by Australian-born Ron Ede. The store went wholesale later on, although they opened to the public during October and finally closed around 1982. The spot later became Good Old Times American Clothing. Ede moved the store in 1986 to Sunset and then settled in Burbank, where he did brisk business selling OJ Simpson masks in the mid-1990's.

The corner store on Melrose offered customers an array of fashionable duds from Parisian designers such as Bill Tornade, Charles Chevignon and Cachuete. Later became furnitute store The Blue House.

Clacton & Frinton
Opened in 1980 by British designers Hilary and Michael Anderson, Clacton & Frinton provided fussy shoppers with silk boxers and bow ties, pocket handkerchiefs and their staple of exquisitely tailored suits; think broad shoulders and full-pleated pants. After the store closed in the 1990's, the husband and wife team launched an outdoorsy-oriented store in Santa Barbara.


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