At home in East Hampton
Their careers are calling, so two globetrotting event planners must answer — even if it means moving on from their beloved Long Island retreat.
Images: David Vaughan
Partners in work and life, Brad Frey and Justin Scalzo worked for some of the biggest names in fashion before they combined creative forces to form their own company, YSD events. As their business began to flourish — they produce over 100 events a year, working with clients like Vera Wang — they realized that their time would soon be spent jet-setting from one side of the world to the other. It wasn’t easy deciding to part with their East Hampton estate, lovingly coined “Chez Bamboo” — for 15 years it served not only as a peaceful escape, but a space to socialize and make connections with the best in their business — but they trust that Compass agent and friend Evan Kulman will find the right owners for their non-traditional home.
How did “Chez Bamboo” get its unique name?
Brad: The original owner was a landscape artist, so we named the house Chez Bamboo because it’s surrounded by bamboo that he planted.
What led you to East Hampton, and to this particular home?
Brad: We were based in Manhattan and knew we wanted a home in the Hamptons, but we had our sights set on a different place. One rainy day, we decided to venture out and look at other options, and when we arrived here, it was love at first sight.
Justin: I think it was the last house that we saw that day.
Brad: The previous owner had already received several offers, but he had yet to connect with any of the potential buyers. He was at every showing because he was so personally attached to this home. We came in and started speaking to him about our vision for this space, and he accepted our offer right in the driveway.
What about the space initially drew you in?
Justin: The home has so much character and personality because much of it was built by hand. The bones were so perfect, we knew we wouldn’t transform the house itself, we just wanted to —
Brad: Bring it to life.
How have your backgrounds influenced the decor of the home?
Justin: We both come from careers in fashion, so we took great pride in making the house our own, often with souvenirs from our travels and gifts from our creative circle of friends.
Brad: Most of the artwork you’ll find throughout the house is by local artists and photographers. We always make an effort to support talented locals. When you’re here, we want you to feel like you’re out East.
Tell me about some of your favorite things to do here!
Justin: Much like the town of East Hampton itself, the property comes to life during the summer. After a day by the sea, guests often converge here at dusk. The space is unique because of the privacy it provides. The bamboo surrounds our garden, wrapping our parties within a secluded world.
What about in the winter?
Brad: During the winter, this home is our oasis. We cozy up inside next to the fire, invite friends, and escape the bustle of city life.
How has your experience been working with Evan and Compass?
Brad: We’ve known Evan for years, but recently he’s evolved so much! He’s always been great at what he does, but since being with Compass, his personal brand has transformed — but his work ethic is the same. I can call him at any time and I know he will be there for us. Since the house has been on the market with Compass, it’s been getting more traffic than we could have dreamed.
Justin: Evan really gets that this house is not meant for a traditional buyer. He’s extremely tech-savvy — he’s where the people are. His Instagram feed (@Hamptonsevan) is the perfect representation of that. It’s not only about selling a house, it’s about understanding it.
What will you miss most about living in the Hamptons?
Justin: I’ll miss hosting. On summer weekends when I wake up and make my way downstairs I often feel like I’m in a boutique hotel. The house is filled with friends and family, the sun is spilling through the glass walls, the secluded spirit of the property reverberates throughout — it’s really special.
What’s next for both of you?
Justin: Our events business has been expanding rapidly, and we need to put roots down in Florida to be in the best location to serve our client base. One of our clients just purchased a home in Mykonos so we’ll be there running events abroad for much of the summer.
Brad: Even though we have to say goodbye to this home, I can tell we’re not quite done with the Hamptons. We’ll be back as guests for now — and when it comes time to find another place, we know who to call.