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Photos Brianne Kimmel. Art by Clark Miller.
Photos Brianne Kimmel. Art by Clark Miller.

Once Upon a Time in Brianne Kimmel’s Hollywood

The Worklife Ventures founder is expanding her sphere of influence from Silicon Valley to Silver Lake, where her invite–only community space will stake a claim on LA’s celebrity founders.

Photos Brianne Kimmel. Art by Clark Miller.
July 1, 2022 12:00 PM PDT

It was a sunny June day in Los Angeles, and “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon Chu was setting up a shot. The aerial swimming pool arrangement was reminiscent of Chu’s work on “In the Heights,” directing the “96,000” sequence—a musical number so complex it called for 500 to 700 people on set, according to Vulture. This art direction, however, was far simpler: just a blissful couple floating on an inflatable sloth.

The pair under Chu’s direction was Brianne Kimmel, venture capitalist and founder of Worklife Ventures, and her actor-comedian boyfriend, Jimmy O. Yang of “Crazy Rich Asians” and HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” The event? A birthday party Kimmel threw for Yang in their backyard, with enough talent in attendance to cast a summer’s worth of Netflix features. Cast members from “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Love Hard” and “Space Force” mingled with Yang’s friends from high school and college. Here was Awkwafina chatting with Chu and “Superstore” co-star Nico Santos. There was  “Love Hard” star Nina Dobrev posing for a photo next to Yang’s pug, Toffee. Guests munched on snacks from the Tacos Kesly taco truck, sipped on cocktails named after Yang’s past movie roles (the “Bernard Mai Tai” for his “Crazy Rich” character, Bernard Tai) and frolicked next to custom balloon art.

Though Kimmel dubbed this celebration a “once every 5 years” birthday party for her Hollywood beau, hobnobbing with the famous appears to be an everyday occurrence for her. Kimmel, according to those who know her, excels at parlaying social interactions into professional opportunities. In July 2019, she befriended Instagram-famous poet Rupi Kaur after sitting next to her at a dinner party. This February, Kimmel penned the first check for Kaur’s new stealth startup. “Bri is a connector,” said Katie Chen, co-founder of Kairos, a Worklife-backed startup. “It's kind of like her magical power.”

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