Raising the stakes in artisanal event design, L.A.-based Gypset is just getting the party started.
Ten years ago off the coast of Africa, Frank Klapp first met Christian Escario, a fellow professional sailor, surfer and globe-trotter. Escario went on to graduate from UC Santa Cruz and USC film school, had a career in finance, optioned and sold his first film (Inhale), flipped 13 properties in L.A. and now lives high in the Hollywood Hills. Meanwhile, Klapp returned to Tarifa, Spain, founded a clothing brand and opened seven stores, then three restaurants, started a family and launched the wildly successful events company Gypset around beautiful structures of his design and construction. “It evolved from surfing—you would build a shelter, then you’d do a better shelter, and you get better products. And with Frank being a perfectionist and an engineer, he’s mastered that art,” Escario says.
Outgrowing the Spanish market, Klapp (along with his brother, Jorg, who is an integral voice in the design process) joined his old friend in California, and Gypset entered L.A.’s buzzing party scene in 2012.
“People here have beautiful outdoor spaces, then they close everything off with a tent and have a party in a box,” notes Escario, now the company’s co-owner. Gypset’s core principle revolves around the practice of using handmade structures and furnishings to enhance and incorporate natural surroundings. Designing and building prototypes on the company’s ranch in Malibu, they source one-of-a-kind items from a network of international artisans: rugs from Morocco; bamboo from Asia and South America; wool and hides from central Africa. Of the company’s work ethic, Escario explains, “Either we have creative control of the project or we don’t do it at all, no matter the price. We are not a rental company; we’re a full-service design company providing everything from security to catering.” They dream of one day building a hotel together and rolling out Gypset in Miami and the Hamptons—never straying too far from a surf break. gypsetevent.com.
Written and edited by Kelsey McKinnon.