“Mr.Leight” : new capsule collection by father-son duo Larry and Garrett Leight

Larry Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and son Garrett Leight pose for a portrait at his home in Santa Monica, Calif.  Larry Leight has left Oliver Peoples after 30 years to join his son Garrett's company, Garrett Leight California Optical (Photo:Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Larry Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and son Garrett Leight pose for a portrait at his home in Santa Monica, Calif.
Larry Leight has left Oliver Peoples after 30 years to join his son Garrett’s company, Garrett Leight California Optical (Photo:Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

The father-son duo Larry and Garrett Leight will launch a new capsule collection.

Here is an article by Mellissa Magsaysay for Los Angeles Times on June 18′ 2016:

On a May afternoon at eyewear design guru Larry Leight’s Santa Monica home, Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and his son, Garrett, founder of Garrett Leight California Optical, took a break from actual work to consider how they each created successful eyewear labels that have captured the cool, in-the-know crowd of their respective generations.

“I didn’t really realize what he did for a living until I went to work for him,” says Garrett, 32. “I saw that not only did he design eyewear, but he really led that team, that environment and that company – and that’s when I was like, ‘Wow, now I really know what he does.’”

Aside from similarities such as profession, stature and surname, father and son finish each other’s thoughts and have a similar magnetism for attracting a cult-like following of loyal fans and talented employees. Together, they have joined forces to create a capsule collection of luxury eyewear called Mr. Leight.

Eyewear wasn’t always the clear choice for Garrett as a profession.

In 2006, however, the younger Leight (the family name is pronounced “light”), who was focused on tennis and studied journalism, went to work at Oliver Peoples at the suggestion of his father to gain work experience. Garrett eventually left Oliver Peoples, and went into business for himself.

“I think he was absorbing and gathering all these things that formulated his desire to do something different,” says Larry, 65. “He felt that there was a better way to do things that inspired him to see different areas of the business that he felt he could do differently or better.”

In November 2009, Garrett opened A. Kinney Court on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, a lifestyle concept store in Venice with opticians, eyewear, footwear, apparel, books and music.

Garrett soon became inspired to create his own collection and created his namesake business in 2011.

“I felt most comfortable in doing what my dad was doing,” says Garrett. “Being an entrepreneur wasn’t really a word that I understood before that time, but I think I just wanted to be a leader and wanted to build my own culture and environment. It was also being around great people that inspire you. That’s what I loved about Oliver Peoples.”

Today, Garrett Leight California Optical eyewear is available through about 800 wholesale accounts worldwide as well as four stand-alone GLCO stores. The eyewear has framed the famous faces of January Jones, Kristen Stewart, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kendall Jenner and spawned collaborations with Clare Vivier, Want Les Essentiels and Mark McNairy.

“You have to kind of pinch yourself,” says Larry about Garrett’s success. “The similar thing between us is, ‘How the hell did he come along and grab that young cult of today?’”

Harding GLCO

Harding GLCO

Hampton GLCO

Hampton GLCO

Cabrillo GLCO

Cabrillo GLCO

In 2006, Larry sold Oliver Peoples to Oakley, and the following year, Italian eyewear brand Luxottica acquired California-based Oakley. Larry retained his creative role until his departure at the end of 2015.

Larry says he spent months after leaving Oliver Peoples trying to decided what he’d do next. “I realized that even if I didn’t know Garrett, his is the company I want to work for,” he says.

Inspired by his son’s business and brand, the veteran eyewear designer and accessory brand icon was brought on earlier this year as a design consultant at GLCO and to collaborate on the Mr. Leight collection.

“Mr. Leight is a name I’ve had in my pocket for a while,” says Garrett. “And I always dreamed that maybe we’d have the opportunity to do something together and that name would obviously make sense.”

While in the design phase, the Mr. Leight collection will have frames made in Japan with a starting cost of $700, and, going forward, the eyewear will skirt traditional fashion cycles.

“It’s more limited, exclusive and still simple and beautiful,” says Larry about the concept for Mr. Leight, which is set to bow in Spring 2017. “It’s more technical, and there are more moving parts to some of the frames – but not gimmicky.”

In his new role, Larry lends his decades of design experience to Garrett and his team, and he defers to Garrett’s strength for sales and marketing for building a strong brand.

Sunglasses by Father Larry Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and son Garrett Leight (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)
Using their design and production prowess, the Leights’ team also has their sights set on making Mr. Leight a design house with the idea of collaborating with select like-minded brands to consult with and create eyewear for those brands.

“For sure we have that same entrepreneurial spirit,” the father says of the son. “We’re taking this exciting journey [with Mr. Leight], and it’s different, fresh and desirable.”

An exciting collaborative journey that, because it bears the name they both share, has the potential to pay a humorous dividend next time someone addresses Garrett as “Mr. Leight.” He could respond that he’s Garrett – Mr. Leight is his dad, and their brand.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

Garrett and Larry Leight

 

Garrett Leight California Optical collection is available at Providence Optical. Watch our exclusive interview with Garrett in Munich.

MIOF – Moscow International Optical Fair

MIOFFeb 16, 2016
MIOF ( 18th Moscow International Optical Fair)

Providence Optical Video Clip  Onega Astaltsova and Olga Mosheyeva (editor-in-chief of ОПТИЧЕСКИЙ Magazine, Moscow, Russia) presented an award in Category PRIVATE LABEL for eyewear collection at Golden Lorgnette National Award ceremony. Mosheyeva said: ” You are a paradigm for the other companies. You proof that you are able to create  beautiful collections that have success in Russia and abroad. ” The winner is the company SCOLANI with brand RUSOMANIA from the city of Ekaterinburg.

Scolani_eyewear_3

     Scolani_eyewear_4Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 3.16.55 AM

Golden Lorgnette is an annual award of optical industry in numerous categories that honors eyecare professionals. Onega Astaltsova was invited to Committee of Experts for the award.

Opti Munich 2016 – Highlights from the vision show

Opti Munich is an annual trade show in the eyewear industry. For the first time this year, we choose to attend this show. A total of 576 exhibitors from 37 countries were present and visitors from 81 countries. This year’s exhibition highlights ranges from a new lens technology for safe driving to the glasses frames made out from pepper or chili and dill to the work of art frames made of paper.

The focus was on quality, creative spirit and incomparably family-like atmosphere. Opti triggers new trends, as the trade fair is flexible in meeting the needs of the market, and setting off new impulses.

Kinto Eyewear – Belgian indépendant Eyewear since 1978. Specialized in petite faces and known for repairable spring hinges.

Thomsen Eyewear – Danish brand, original and contemporary frames made in titanium with classical shape with a bit of color.

748fd254-1335-4d9b-a159-36b8bdcae8eaBarriqule – Born in 2014 in Italy from the idea of Lorenzo Del Tufo. Unisex glasses and sunglasses collections characterized by cellulose acetate fronts and temples in oak recycled from exhausted barrels. Barriqule video

 

 

Paul Hueman – Korean eyewear company specialized in the Asian Fit.

Projekt Samsem – Founded in 2015 in Berlin, the focus of PROJEKT SAMSEN is to create timeless and remarkable goods for everyday life. 3D printed glasses with innovative hinge,
PROJEKT SAMSEN combines new ideas and technologies with timeless aesthetics and values.

All these lines will be soon available at Providence Optical and also in addition new products from existing lines Garrett Leight, Etnia, Lunettes Kollektion, Woow, Dutz Eyewear and Intrigue.

 

 

Benchmarks: Eyewear Decor

Our aviator eyeglasses mirror was mentioned in the article of November-December 2015 edition of INVISION by CORRIE PELC

ART SMART

Eyewear-inspired elements create just the right professional atmosphere
Art can be a tricky thing. What one person loves, another may not. And it’s always very personal — you can tell a lot about someone by the art hanging in his home.

The same is true for your business. The artwork and decor you choose for your eyecare practice or optical shop will be a direct reflection of who you are, the sort of clientele you want to attract and the type of atmosphere you are trying to create.
The six examples here all show how art can be used to make a business more memorable and reflect what the owner wants the business to be. People with artistic skills may decide to go the DIY route and create their own office decor, while others may look to the work of outsiders. Whichever way you go, aim for a look that speaks to both the uniqueness and professionalism of your businesses.

Onega Astaltsova, an artist who is also managing optician of Providence Optical in Providence, RI, says good art will help elevate your business. “As ECPs, we have a professional obligation and the art has to be professional too,” she explains. “You still need to follow the rules of business and not just your personal taste. Good art will help you look professional.”

Need some more inspiration for your space? You’ll find lots of good resources online. TheOpticalVisionSite.com and Pinterest are great resources for decorating ideas, as are Facebook groups such as Opticians on Facebook. You might also work with a local artist, gallery owner or art consultant to help you find or create the look you seek.

DSC_0340

MIRROR, MIRROR
Providence Optical, Providence, RI

➤ With a background in art, it’s no wonder why Onega Astaltsova decided to design an eyewear wall mirror for Providence Optical. Astaltsova says she chose a metal aviator-shaped frame design for the mirror to complement the shop’s large selection of vintage frames. She created a hand drawing of the frame she wanted to depict, then transformed that into a vector computer rendering from which polycarbonate and PVC plastic parts were cut and put together. The finished product is set off by large quotations from literature that help reinforce the idea of Providence Optical as a place that celebrates all the arts.

“Golden Lorgnette” 2015 Awards Ceremony at MIOF, Moscow

Our Onega Astaltsova had an honor to attend the first National Awards Ceremony “Golden Lorgnette” for Russian Optical Industry, holded in Moscow on February 17, 2015 as a guest judge. The event took place at 16th Moscow International Optical Fair (MIOF).

The event in 9 categories is designed to recognize the most important  individuals and companies in the optical industry for providing excellent service, fostering innovation and spreading awareness of the optical industry. Among nominations were: debut in Russian market and new best product of the year, best marketing project and campaign in wholesale and retail, best local optical chain and independent optical store, innovation, person of the year. The guests of the evening were treated with a concert of finalists of TV show “Golos”, which equivalent to USA show “VOICE”.

At an event Onega wears dress by Karolina Zmarlak, polish-american designer and our own Providence Optical 3-D printed eyewear.

Salon ALMAZ-Optic from a small town of metallugists in Ural mountains region is a winner in the Best Independent Optical Shop category.

Elena Pedashenko of Almaz-Optic is getting an award

Alexander Zhurbin, a well-known composer, is a guest perfomer at an event

Providence Optical Inspires Russian Eyecare Professionals… again!

As some of you might know, we were named as one of the Top 10 Independent Optical Retail of USA 2014 by INVISION, a magazine for eyecare professionals. Following the news, we were invited to share some essential advices and tips with optical professionals of Russia by ОПТИЧЕСКИЙ Magazine (OpticMagazine). The story appeared in September issue of 2014 publication. 

 

 

Focus on: Providence Optical

We would like to share a blog, written by  on July 28, 2014 for InDowncity Providence website. Thank you, Erick.

Nestled between the bright pastel window displays of Craftland’s new location and the artfully ad-hoc presentation of RISD’s student-run gallery, it might be a bit of a challenge to spot Providence Optical—if it weren’t for the beautifully massive wire-rimmed glasses that hang above the shop’s Westminster Street entrance.

Stepping inside on a steamy summer morning, one might be surprised to find a quiet bustling throughout the air-conditioned store. Customers’ eyes slowly move from spectacle to spectacle, closely examining the hundreds of varieties in materials, accents, shapes, and colors. Other patrons sit patiently in the comfy lounge chairs, taking in the array of glass specimens.

Welcomed in, we were given a crash course on the summer and fall’s hottest trends: Augusto Valentini spectacles paired a matte finish with an elegant gold trim, while Providence Optical’s latest creations sparkled with stainless steel rivets.

Colors seemed to be en vogue, with every glass display boasting a number of bright neon greens, oranges, electric blues, or other captivating colors. Men’s pairs took to the colors with a dignified sort of diffidence, choosing to display the fluorescent colors along the tamer inside rims of the glasses rather than the outsides.

More and more pairs were brought out, carefully detailed to us, and ushered back onto their display cases while the grand finale neared in the form of vintage ’80′s eyewear. Absurdly large (in that perfectly quirky way) frames approached, showing off beautiful real enamel detailing flush with clean metal skeletons. The unworn finds—$75—were certainly a show-stopper.

And just like that, our exclusive crash course was over. The spectacles sat neatly on their display cases or safely in their shelves, and as we grabbed our bags to head out we couldn’t help but feel as if it would be impossible to choose just one pair from the many we saw that day.

From the cases upon cases of unique and downright beautiful spectacles, though, we knew that many would visit and find their perfect pair of glasses that day, and hoped many others would continue to find their glass-soulmates, right inside that little shop.