Pristine beaches, rugged mountains, scenic PCH. Celebrity sightings. Wannabe celebrity sightings. Nobu.
Malibu is California’s most famous beachside community for all those reasons and more. Correspondingly, it is also California’s most expensive beachside community. The blistering prices extend not only to for-sale properties but also to vacation rentals, like the one we shall discuss today.
Many homeowners in Malibu — particularly those wealthy enough to own on the sand — have multiple other residences. Thus, unfathomable as it may be to mere financial mortals, these obscenely expensive Malibu homes are usually left vacant. Certain neighborhoods give off a ghost town vibe, particularly during the off-season. Drive past Carbon Beach, or down Broad Beach and Malibu Roads during the winter months, and the activity is minimal — precious few cars parked in driveways or signs of life.
Thankfully (for willing owners), there are always scads of out-of-towners looking to rent a luxury pad for a few weeks or months. Some are billionaires seeking nothing more than a quick whiff of the California lifestyle before they jet off to their next vacation, and some are ordinary millionaires who save up for their one month of oceanside fun per year. Still others are renting while they shop for a permanent residence in the area.
And so there are always a plethora of available luxury leases come summertime, all shapes and sizes and styles. You just gotta be willing to pony up the dough. And it’s major dough, y’all.
How much cash will a beachfront rental run ya? In the case of today’s fancy house on Malibu Road — long considered one of the city’s best beaches for surfin’ — the homeowner is asking a reasonable $175,000 per month. And no, kiddies, we did not drunkenly add an extra zero. The pricetag really is $175k.
Well, spank your gurl sideways! That is a big bite of cheese. But guess what? The house is already leased out for the next couple months. All the way until August!
The tenants, Yolanda happens to know, are Olaf Guerrand-Hermès and his wife Eva. Yep, that Hermès. Our boy is the great-great-great-grandson of Thierry Hermès, who founded the iconic French luxury brand way back in 1837 — and the brand is still (nearly 200 years later!) majority owned by the family. Since the untimely death of his brother, our Mr. Guerrand-Hermes is now the sole heir to his 85-year-old father‘s billion-dollar fortune.
Yolanda is now far too pauperish to ever dream of affording anything Hermes, but a wee bit of research reveals that the company’s most well-known products currently seem to be the obscenely expensive Kelly and Birkin handbags, which are frequently seen on the arms of famous ladies. Just one of these bags can cost more than a brand-new BMW 3-Series (and sometimes way more than that).
Anywho, our Mr. Guerrand-Hermes is fairly low profile, but he has experienced his fair share of bad publicity. In 2003, the New York Post infamouslylabeled him a “deadbeat dad“. As Judge Emily Jane Goodman wrote in a scathing rebuke of our boy, “The rich are different … [Hermes] does not work or comply with court-ordered support of his children.” She also called him “hostile, arrogant, and [lacking] credibility“. Good gracious! Come on now, Mr. Guerrand-Hermes. Quit actin’ a fool and pay your damn child support.
Apparently, y’all, Mr. Guerrand-Hermes’s first wife Olga divorced him in 2001 when she discovered he was carrying on an affair with her best friend (who later became pregnant!). Such drama!
Now in his 50s and still gainfully unemployed (as far as Yolanda can tell), Mr. Guerrand-Hermes is married to his second wife Eva, the other woman in the breakup of his first marriage. The couple have two children: a 14-year-old named Elise and an 11-year-old named Raphaela, and nowadays primarily reside in Montecito, CA. (More on that a little later.)
Anyway, Yolanda hears from an unimpeachable source that Mr. Guerrand-Hermes is paying right around $120,000 per month for his stay on the beach. That is significantly under the $175k/mo. ask but still more than most folks earn in an entire year, of course.
Y’all may think that $120k/mo. is a ludicrous figure to spend on a house. But believe it or not, that sum is actually quite common in Malibu and hardly anything record-breaking. Y’all want to know something that really might be record-breaking? Yolanda happens to know that someone else just inked a longterm, four-year lease for a different house on this same street — Malibu Road.
Guess how much that other tenant is paying for his four year stay? Upwards of $6 million. We are not making this up, y’all. $6 million in rent is really something that sounded perfectly logical to someone — someone very rich, obviously. But we digress. That is a story for another day.
The rented Guerrand-Hermes two-story oceanfront contemporary was commission in 2016 by Chris Milner, an ex-Goldman Sachs banker, and built by architect Steve Giannetti. Interior spaces include a double-height great room with an awe-inspiring wall of glass overlooking the sea. Just off the living area is a formal dining table and massive chef’s kitchen with all the requisite top-notch appliances.
Records say the house has 4 beds and 4.5 baths in a spacious 4,236-square-feet of living area. The master suite has ocean views and a telescope, and the sleek master bath has dual vanities and a glassy two-person shower w/ soaking tub.
There are two large outdoor decks on the property: the main floor has an outdoor lounge space w/ fireplace plus a wide swathe of (fake) grass and a hot tub.
As previously mentioned, Mr. and Mrs. Guerrand-Hermes mainly reside in the low-key but prodigiously expensive neighborhood of Montecito, just outside Santa Barbara. Records show that the couple used a corporate entity to pay $6,700,000 for their Mediterranean-style villa way back in 2008.
In 2016, the property was briefly listed for sale with an $9.25 million ask. The old listing indicates the estate has 3,747-square-feet of living space on a fully-landscaped 2.62-acre lot, complete with a pool and lush formal gardens.
We digress. Enjoy your stay in Malibu and your break from the tedium of Montecito, Mr. Guerrand-Hermes. And please, baby, pay your damn child support. Don’t make Yolanda hunt you down.
Olaf Guerrand-Hermes’s agent: Jeremiah Eden, Sotheby’s International Realty