Rande Gerber is constantly on the lookout for new collaborations.
Late last year, Rande Gerber and wife Cindy Crawford purchased a 3,800-square-foot home on North Bay Road, followed by a penthouse at The Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach just a few months later, two real estate transactions that made them Miami VIPs overnight. But Gerber is no stranger to our shores. The entrepreneur owned The Whiskey on Ocean Drive in the ’90s and was a regular fixture of South Beach’s nightlife scene during that time. Since then, he’s been building an enviable business portfolio led by Casamigos, the tequila brand he co-founded with George Clooney in 2013 and which lately has allowed him to indulge his creative talents. Here, Gerber discusses his return to South Florida, family life and the stories behind his various and prolific collaborations in design.
How does it feel to be back in Miami? I’ve always loved this city and I’m happy to be spending more time here. I’ve really missed the days when I had The Whiskey in South Beach, which was packed with a beautiful, fun mix of people every night of the week.
George Clooney and Rande Gerber created Casamigos “by accident” in 2013 and sold it to Diageo for $1 billion in 2017. The two still retain their founder roles with the company.
When people think of upscale tequila these days, Casamigos (casamigos.com) instantly comes to mind. What do you make of that? George and I created Casamigos for us to drink and share with friends back in 2013. We never intended to have a tequila company. We took our time and had the patience and money to get it right. Consumers are smart and they love and appreciate the quality of our brand, so we’re very proud of that.
Many people are aware of the Casamigos backstory and the big sale to Diageo in 2017, but what they don’t know is that you’ve designed many of the bottles for the brand’s different tequilas. What have you learned from that? That simplicity in design is oft en more difficult than more complicated [designs]. I always go for understated and let the product speak for itself.
Your most recent bottle is for Casamigos Mezcal. What was your approach with that one? When I think of mezcal, I think of something rough and smoky with an edge to it. I wanted our bottle to have that feel and the personality of the family that makes it. The end result is a bottle with a unique texture that changes as it gets passed around.
Omega’s Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black watch; a bottle of Casamigos Mezcal; the Casa Moto boots by Thursday Boots. All items were designed by Rande Gerber.
Another one of your collaborations was the Seamaster Planet Ocean “Deep Black” Casamigos watch for Omega (omegawatches.com). How did that come about? Cindy has been working with Omega since 1995, and George and I joined the team a few years aft er, followed by my kids Presley and Kaia. It’s a great company, so it felt right to work with them using the launch of Casamigos Mezcal as a reason to collaborate.
The watch sold out in days. Do you even have one? It sold out in one day actually, but I have the prototype and one of the limited-edition watches.
Last year, you also delved into fashion with the Casa pant for Bleusalt (bleusalt.com), which came about as a result of the pandemic shutdown when so many people were home. What’s the story there? I was jealous that Cindy and my daughter Kaia got to design their own, so I asked our friend Lyndie Benson [the brand’s founder and CEO] if I could do something, and she said of course. I wanted to design a pant that was super comfortable but that I didn’t have to change out of if I decided to leave the house.
Did you ever think you’d have the title athleisure designer attached to your name? No, but I guess I’m just kind of a design junkie. I’ve always been interested in all types of design, whether it’s architecture, clothing or my Casamigos bottles.
Your latest collaboration is with Thursday Boots (thursdayboots.com). What can you tell me about that? My friends there asked me to design the ultimate motorcycle boot and, aft er more than 30 samples, we arrived at the Casa Moto Racer boot, which is made with the soft est leather to ensure ultimate comfort but is also rugg ed enough to wear on a bike ride.
Changing gears a bit, both of your children Kaia and Presley are models, something your wife and you know plenty about. What’s been your advice to them? They have many other things they love to do as well; modeling is just the thing you see. My advice has been to enjoy it, and when that feeling stops, try something else.
What have they taught you in return? I learn new things from them every day. The world has changed and they are the future.
Based on all your partnerships, it’s clear you’re up for challenges and new endeavors. What would you like to do next? I don’t really look for what’s next. I’m interested in companies whose owners are creative, passionate, hardworking people who may just need a bit of guidance, or even funding, to make some noise. I always have many ideas running through my head on my morning run and during my bike rides, so we’ll see where those take me.
Photography by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRANDS