Casa de Casamigos
When A-lister, taste maker, and Casamigos Tequila co-founder Rande Gerber and his famous family take time out from their very busy lives, they often escape to their beach-front home at the end of a long driveway in Malibu.
Photographs Courtesy of Berlyn Photography
Rande Gerber has been an A-list-taste maker since he opened The Whiskey in New York’s Paramount Hotel in 1991. He’s been a model. He’s married to a supermodel—Cindy Crawford. Their teenage kids—Kaia and Presley Gerber—are gorgeous models, too. One of his closest friends is George Clooney. And oh yeah, the little tequila company he founded with Clooney and luxury real estate mogul Mike Meldman of the Discovery Land Company—Casamigos—just sold for a cool BILLION dollars ($700 million up front with the potential for another $300 million based on sales performance over the next decade).
Meanwhile, the 56-year old Gerber shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. He and Clooney continue to be involved with Casamigos. In fact, they’ve just launched a new Mezcal and he still works with the Casamigos team in the office he designed near this spectacular home in Malibu.
“I love living on the beach,” he says via email recently. “And there are very few oceanfront properties like this. Cindy and I have loved raising our kids in Malibu so, when I heard this place may come on the market, I bought it before it did. I had to have it.”
He’s not kidding when he says there is nothing else like it in Malibu. The home is set on a secluded beach and encompasses three acres of mature trees, panoramic oceanfront views and peace and quiet that’s not so easy to find so close to L.A.
The long driveway leads to the home that was built in the 1940s. But Gerber has done a masterful job renovating since he and Crawford bought it several years ago. “The house already had great bones and I’ve always been passionate about architecture and design,” he says. “The house is simple, casual and elegant. It feels like we’re at home and on vacation every day. It also has great open spaces that are designed be comfortable for the family and perfect for entertaining.”
Of course Gerber’s Malibu house is “perfect for entertaining.” The Whiskey became the IT spot back in the early ‘90s because he designed it to feel like his living room, and he brings the same style and design eye to everything he does. In fact, Gerber has designed all of their houses and the Casamigos Malibu HQ, too.
As you’d expect, the whole family loves hanging out in the living room that makes the most of the panoramic view. The large wraparound deck is the ideal place to watch the sunset—and enjoy a glass of Casamigos—after a long day. And the master suite not only has a fireplace, sitting area, two separate spa-like baths and dressing closets, it also has a private entrance located on the second level that’s situated around a large interior courtyard.
Rande’s passion for real estate and design extends up the beach – to the house he owns next door. And the story of the famous guest he and Cindy have hosted in both homes is legendary.
“We love to have intimate cocktail parties,” he continues, “but one of the funniest things that happened at the house didn’t happen during a party.” Gerber goes on to describe the particular night when he and George Clooney had had a few drinks at Café Habana, the bar he opened in Malibu.
“George and I were excited about doing more with our tequila than just drinking it. We were in Café Habana talking about launching Casamigos, the design of the bottle, and who we were going to get to distribute it. Anyway, we’d drunk enough and got a ride back to my house on the beach. Then George decided to stay at our place rather than get a ride home to his house.
“George usually stays in our guest house on the beach next door when he’s over. And if I’ve had a couple of drinks, I usually stay in the guest room in the main house, rather than bothering Cindy in our bedroom. But things didn’t go according to plan that night. Instead of walking down to the guest house, George decided that he would just stay in the guest room of the main house.
“George crashed out and I fell asleep in the kids’ room. Anyway, Cindy wakes up at some point in the night and wonders, ‘Where is Rande?’ So, she gets up and goes into the guest room looking for me. All she sees on the bed is a body face-down, fully clothed, with motorcycle boots on and phone in hand. So she gets into bed and whispers, ‘Babe, why don’t you take your clothes off and get under the covers?’ Then George wakes up and is like, ‘Huh?’ and Cindy ran out of the room laughing.
“We laughed about it for hours actually. And that’s when we came up with one of our early ideas to promote the new brand. ‘Drink Casamigos and wake up with Cindy Crawford!’ Or as Cindy saw it: ‘Drink Casamigos and wake up with George Clooney!’”
In fact, Clooney wrote and directed the video that ran when they first launched Casamigos based on that night. It was called, “It Could Happen.” It had Cindy waking up with George…and Rande waking up with George, too.
But no matter how busy they get, it’s clear that Malibu will always be a sanctuary for Gerber and his famous family. They have a lake house that the family goes to every summer. They still take family vacations together. Gerber has been seen with Cindy and his kids in New York during fashion week, and he still loves traveling with his buddies to Mexico where the Casamigos Tequila was born.
“Malibu will always be home,” he says. “The serenity of the beach is like nowhere else. But there are always new projects on the horizon.”