They say you can’t have your cake and eat it, but some seem to have it all.
Not only is Rande Gerber seen as the pioneer of Miami’s club scene, thanks to the countless successful nightspots that he has operated over the years, but he’s also the founder of nightlife company Midnight Oil, owner of the Gerber Group chain, husband of supermodel Cindy Crawford, father of models Kaia and Presley Gerber and a best friend of top actor George Clooney – with whom he has even started a billion-dollar tequila brand.
No matter how you measure success, Rande Gerber is a man who has most certainly achieved it!
Of course, it didn’t happen overnight.
Born in Long Island in 1962, Rande didn’t always show such a keen interest in business and entrepreneurship. In fact, like his wife and children, his first real jobs were in modelling.
However, after graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in Marketing, Rande decided it was time to get a foot in the door within the business world, attracted immediately to the nightlife industry. Rande had moved to Miami and, whilst the city wasn’t entirely without its nightlife, it was still a scene with plenty of potential left to be fulfilled.
Rande was certainly the man for the job and, along with his two brothers, founded the Gerber Group chain in 1991. The group returned to their home state to open their first venue, The Whiskey, in New York’s Paramount Hotel, before expanding the brand shortly after by opening a second The Whiskey bar on Miami’s Ocean Drive. It was this second addition that would truly kickstart both The Whiskey brand and Miami’s nightlife scene overall, with plenty of help from Rande.
In the following years, Rande decided to continue to open and operate venues in the Miami area, first by adding more bars to his impressive portfolio and then by extending his expertise to the opening and operating of restaurants, lounges and even top-class casinos. The Gerber Group’s impact on Miami’s flourishing nightlife appeal was undeniable, with the group responsible for the ownership of many of the city’s most successful venues, pulling in visitors from across America and giving Miami a much-needed boost in the eyes of those looking to take a trip, let loose and enjoy the party.
After the birth and astronomical growth of his Gerber Group venture, Rande was already feeling pretty proud of the life he’d created himself, quickly becoming one of Miami’s most successful men – if not one of the most successful in the United States overall.
However, as most will agree, success is made even better by having someone to share it with!
Romance found Rande in the early 1990s while attending the wedding of a friend. Despite being in a relationship at the time, he was instantly smitten after meeting Cindy Crawford – she was one of fashion’s most celebrated figures at the time, of course! Luckily for him, Cindy was similarly impressed by Rande, with his good looks and unshakeable ambition. It seemed instantly that the pair were a perfect fit – as power couples go, very few are more powerful a match than this one!
After a harmonious few years of dating, the pair were married in 1998, welcoming children Presley and Kaia in the few years following their wedding.
From there, Rande continued to grow his brand, opening bars, lounges and restaurants in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Madrid, New Orleans, Mexico and Santiago, as well as adding to his ever-growing portfolio in New York and Miami.
Gerber Group were going from strength-to-strength, even securing partnerships with iconic hotel chains Starwood, W, Sofitel, Strategic and Sol Melia – if you found yourself in any of the United States’ biggest hotel chains, chances are that you weren’t too far from a Gerber Group venue.
It wasn’t long before Rande was looking into taking the logical next step for such an influential figure in the nightlife industry – the launch of his own alcohol. 2012 saw Rande found Gerber Spirits, his third multi-million dollar brand. Their first product was unveiled in March of the same year – Caliche Rum, a super-premium Puerto Rican white rum.
It was an easy transition for Gerber, who took on running the company just as professionally and successfully as his previous ventures. However, he was taking on some new personal challenges, too – he had decided to commission a new home for his family out in Mexico.
Luckily, top actor and long-time friend of Gerber’s, George Clooney, was out in Mexico building his own home at the time, giving Rande someone to spend his nights relaxing with after the days spent overseeing the construction. Together, the pair would spend hours chatting and drinking their favourite tequilas, though they began to notice that no existing brand appeared to deliver the exact taste that they wanted.
While many of us would simply accept the fact and drink something else, Rande and George decided to fix the issue by launching a tequila of their very own! At first, Casamigos (meaning ‘House of Friends’) tequila was designed to be enjoyed solely by Rande, George and a select few family and friends, but those who were lucky enough to sample a bottle always came back asking for more!
Before long, the pair decided that there’s no point keeping something so widely enjoyable to themselves and launched the brand publicly in late 2013, to instant success. Their tequila, they say, is clean, smooth and can be enjoyed alone with no need for mixers – and they even believe that those drinking it can avoid a hangover!
In the years since, Rande has continued to oversee his several businesses, consistently growing his empire, though he aims to achieve the perfect balance between his professional life and family life.
For example, you’d think a man with so much invested in the operation of city nightlife would see the events of the last year as nothing short of catastrophic for his career – Rande, however, has tried to look at the positive. He has recently spoken out about how quarantining in the family’s beachfront Miami home over the past year has given him a chance to make the most of some quality time with his beloved wife Cindy and children Kaia and Presley, along with their two adorable dogs.
Of course, each of the family has their own business ventures that they’re looking forward to returning to as soon as they can. For now, however, it seems they enjoy nothing more than catching up with each other over a glass of Casamigos tequila!