Garrett Gerson

Garrett is the chief executive officer of Calamigos Ranch, an award-winning event center, resort and filming location in Malibu, California. Garrett, 38, is from the fourth-generation of the family-owned and operated business, which was founded in 1947 and also has locations in Santa Monica, Burbank and Ventura, California. 

Garrett attended University of Santa Cruz majoring economics, but he dropped out in his junior year to intern for women’s wear designer Ryan Roberts in Los Angeles. There, he learned tailoring, pattern-making and sourcing, and eventually took a full-time job helping Roberts run his business.

He took those business skills and returned to the Ranch a few years later, taking over as CEO at the age of 24. He has since developed an award-winning event center at the Ranch, which produces 2,500 events per year, and integrated AI into its customer service. “At Calamigos, we create a better customer experience with high-touch, paying attention to the smallest details that make the biggest difference,” he said. Garrett is equally passionate about the environment and technology, and his goal is to take the Ranch off the grid to be a fully sustainable operation by 2025. He is also reinvigorating the farm on the 200-acre property in order to produce their own food supply.

In the mid-2000s, Garrett founded the women’s sportswear line Sjobeck Malibu, which was sold in over 200 high-end boutiques worldwide. His second apparel line was YSTR, which he later evolved into Variant, a patent-approved technology platform that creates customized knitwear. Here, he brings hospitality and technology into fashion. 

Garrett was driven to develop Variant as a sustainable solution for designers – by integrating technology into the knitwear manufacturing process, he reduced materials waste by only producing items once they are ordered by the customer. “I built the platform I wish I had as a designer, that could react immediately to consumer’s needs without creating inventory or waste,” he said. 

Garrett is a lifelong sportsman and outdoorsman whose hobbies include snowboarding, heliskiing, surfing, sailing, scuba diving and hiking. He has traveled to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Machu Pichu, the Great Barrier Reef, the Serengeti and Fiji to pursue these passions. He is passionate about leveraging technology to create more sustainable hospitality and fashion brands.

OUR STORY

After working in the Los Angeles garment industry for nearly a decade, I experienced first-hand how a fast-moving, highly competitive industry makes it difficult for a young brand to break into the market. I was born and raised in Malibu, California and I’m a self-taught designer who did everything from competing on a network fashion reality show to going door-to-door to get my line in front of retailers. I’ve logged hundreds of hours at trade shows, thousands of miles flying to factories in Europe and China, and countless sleepless nights worrying about whether I’d be able to earn enough in a season to make it to the next one. 

I also learned how much clothing manufacturing impacts our environment – from toxic chemicals and water waste to the giant carbon footprint from transporting materials back and forth across the globe. As a lifelong surfer and outdoor adventurer, I’m passionate about preserving our planet and its natural resources. 

I knew there had to be a better way - one that cuts down on waste and delivers only what you want – unique and high-quality pieces at accessible prices. So, I surrounded myself with forward-thinking individuals who constantly push the boundaries of what’s possible. Together, we aim to democratize fashion and build a platform for consumers to create the things they want and love, and for creatives at all levels, helping them realize their design dreams. To me, there’s nothing more exciting.