Garrett Leight: A Family Optical Story

Are you interested in learning how an independent frame company called Garrett Leight California Optical was built?

You have heard of the frame company Oliver Peoples, right? Ready to hear this family story too?

Garrett gives us an optical market perspective from the past and current. Building an indie eyewear brand doesn’t just take money, it takes grit. Garrett tells us how his family created one of the most famous eyewear brands. He then goes on to tell the story of how he created an iconic California eyewear brand at the age of 25.


In This Episode:

[3:01] At what age did he understand what his parents do for work
[5:14] History of Oliver Peoples
[8:58] Where did the name “Oliver Peoples” come from?
[12:29] About selling Oliver Peoples
[14:50] How did he decide he wanted to go independent
[16:27] What was his first step in creating his own brand?
[19:18] Garrett Leight talks about his brand
[23:25] How Chinese production has changed
[26:41] A virtual tour of his frame company
[29:34] As a wholesale frame company, what are the barriers that he needed to overcome?
[31:19] Trade shows
[33:05] Importance of retail
[35:10] Why eCommerce?
[41:08] Thoughts on how to improve an older store
[42:45] Tips on opening a new store
[43:55] Buying ads online
[46:12] What does it mean to be an independent brand?
[50:22 ] The importance of good staff
[53:53] What should you focus on?

About The Guest:

Garrett Leight was born in Los Angeles in 1984, immersed in the eyewear and fashion industries as the son of the Founder and Creative Director of Oliver Peoples. Garrett grew up playing competitive tennis and attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, graduating with a degree in Journalism. After college he worked at Oliver Peoples, observing firsthand the development of his father’s iconic designs and brand building techniques.

In 2009, he opened his first eyewear concept store, A. Kinney Court, in Venice Beach, offering a curated assortment of hand-selected goods from his hometown. The store was the first of its kind, combining the knowledge and service of licensed opticians with the styling of a fashion boutique. Inspired by the unique atmosphere and creative characters of Venice and driven to find the perfect frames for his customers, Garrett founded Garrett Leight California Optical and released his first eyewear collection in 2010. Dedicated to creating the highest quality designs handmade with the finest materials and craftsmanship,

GLCO brings a fresh perspective to classically tailored frames by blending old and new, the iconic and the innovative.


Garrett Leight Instagram

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