What started as a legendary Hollywood architect’s office space is now our flagship boutique. Presenting the history of VIOLET GREY on Melrose Place.
“We are obsessed with surrounding our customers with old-guard glamour, beauty, and polish,” says founder Cassandra Grey. VIOLET GREY has always been about serving our customers via design, art, education, and trusted product recommendations. When it came to conceiving VIOLET GREY on Melrose Place, we envisioned a place that felt more like Hamish Bowles’ apartment in Paris than a department store beauty counter on Wilshire Boulevard.
But before our William Sofield–designed jewel was VIOLET GREY on Melrose Place, architect John Elgin Woolf and designer Robert Koch Woolf housed their offices here in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. The partners created a style coined as “Hollywood Regency,” crafting estates for the LA elite—some of whom are close confidants of VIOLET GREY. For example, the great producer and film executive Robert Evans lives in the Woolf-designed home where we shot our very first cover story.
Even some of Woolf’s interiors and exteriors were used as the epic sets in both Helmut Newton and Slim Aarons’ photo shoots, both of whom inspire the art we create today. “Our personal connection to Woolf is what made us fall in love with Melrose Place,” says Cassandra. “Even VIOLET GREY’s very first office was there above The Row. The history of the store—and, specifically, what the architecture means to our point of view—is an important part of who we are.”
To say we take this shit seriously is an understatement. VIOLET GREY opened its physical doors in 2014, and we take a similar approach to Coco Chanel’s intimate couch conversations, where she would get to know her client before creating a custom outfit (think of it as a therapy session). The only difference is that our client consultations take place on a Sue et Mare couch where our customers can shop the best edit of beauty in the business, conveniently located below.
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