True Religion Jeans founder Kym Gold debuts Encino home

A fashion designer turns her penchant for unconventionality to creating her dream home in one of the Valley’s most exclusive enclaves.

A fashion designer uproots from Malibu and focuses her penchant for unconventionality on creating her dream home in Encino.

Written by Linda Grasso |  Photographed by Shane O’Donnell

When Kym Gold and her ex-husband were coming up with designs for their jeans brand, True Religion, back in 2002, she had a distinct vision. “I wanted to do jeans with twisted seams, big pockets and flare. People were like what? You can’t do that with jeans!” But she stuck to her guns and it paid off. In 2012 a private equity firm bought the company for $835 million.

Kym took something of the same approach with her new Encino digs. She bought the brand-new, 7,600- square-foot spec home on a quiet cul-de-sac, south of the Boulevard, for more than $6 million. And then she did the unthinkable. She started taking it apart. Kym hired Calabasas-based contractor Jon Goldstein and embarked on a yearlong renovation.

“The house was pretty typical in terms of what you see in spec homes—everything was Carrara marble and brown wood. We took it all out,” she explains.

Kym, who has three grown sons and lives with her fiancé actor Marlon Young, chose the Valley to be closer to her two sisters. So the same realtor who sold her Malibu home, TJ Paradise, started combing the south-of-the-Boulevard neighborhoods. “TJ saw the spec home in Royal Oaks way before it was complete—probably four to six months—but I bought it. I knew I wanted it the moment I saw it,” she says.

Though she has considerable design skills, Kym, who is a petite flurry of energy, felt “daunted” by the expanse of the project so she hired interior designer Stephanie Visser to help with scale.

With interiors, Kym chose a new direction. “I had done the “shabby chic” thing in Malibu and this time I wanted to have fun. I wanted each room to have its own personality with lots of color. Color makes me happy,” she explains.

One of the most dramatic changes was the kitchen. The marble countertops were removed and replaced with Caesarstone. Beams of reclaimed wood were installed, along with humongous barn doors with vintage glass, made by the Chatsworth-based Voorhees Design Center. “I believe they are the largest barn doors Voorhees has ever made!” Kym quips.

The centerpiece of the dining room is a 9-foot-wide round table, topped by a glass lazy susan, surrounded by vintage Phillipe Starke pin chairs. Grass cloth on the walls adds a cozy vibe. A built-in wine cooler along one wall was ripped out and replaced with an open bar with drawers that open to reveal humidors. Drawer faces are adorned with stingray skin.

In the media room, a colorful, multi-patterned oversize sofa by Missoni takes up most of the space. “It is the room we use the most to be honest with you!” laughs Marlon. Built-in cabinetry drawers are embossed with turquoise crocodile skin.

An upstairs landing showcases a charming seating area and leads to multiple bedrooms. In a day when designers are doing one-color rooms (mostly in various shades of white), Kym chose to do one wall in the master bedroom a whimsical shade of sky blue. Sunlight fills the space; the adjoining porch has a retractable awning. The master bedroom leads to “his” and “hers” bathrooms and walk-in closets.

Tucked behind the pool is a two-story guesthouse; the top floor is Kym’s design studio. She anticipates she’ll spend a good deal of time up there this year as she launches her new project, STYLE UNION, a luxury knitwear collaboration with young fashion powerhouse 3JAINS.