“It was the light,” says Jens Grede, a Sweden-born, LA-based entrepreneur, recalling his first impression when he toured his Malibu weekend home with his British wife and business partner, Emma. “When we saw this view, it was exactly what we had in mind for paradise.”
“We bought it on a Thursday and stayed there that weekend,” Emma adds. They had been house hunting for years and watched as several similar properties got snatched up during the pandemic, so even though the house wasn’t officially on the market they didn’t dillydally. “We came straight in and said, ‘Kids, make do, we’ll figure it out in the next few months.’”
The midcentury-modern house was originally commissioned by Paul S. Visher, a former Navy man turned aerospace executive, and built in 1962. It’s perched atop the edge of a cliff on Encinal Bluffs and embraces the sweeping views from Broad Beach to El Matador. Quite literally “perched”: A decade later, in 1972, the California Coastal Commission was established and soon regulated oceanfront construction, which is why this one is uniquely positioned like the tip of a needle.
The house passed through several owners in the following 60 years, including Brad Pitt as well as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, each of whom updated the house but respected the clean, modern vibes associated with the now revered architecture from that era. “I’m a big fan of the 1970s vision of California,” Jens says, citing the Eagles, David Geffen, and other luminaries of that era as touchstones. “I love Joan Didion, she lived in West Malibu, and when I watched her documentary I was obsessed with this place’s sense of freedom.”
The Gredes met in the aughts while working in London (he had founded a marketing group, she was a talent and marketing executive), married in 2012, and relocated to California in 2017. In the past decade plus, they have become fashion-world heavyweights by building a multibillion-dollar portfolio of brands, often partnering with celebrities, including several members of TV’s royal family, the Kardashians. The empire now includes Skims, the shapewear company cofounded with Kim; Good American, Khloé’s size-inclusive denim line; Frame, the high-end clothing line; and others.