The Dream & Vision:
Our Vision was to Design an original and authentic collection of eyewear, utilize innovative marketing strategies, and create a unique retail experience in our own gallery - Larry Leight, founder & creative director
Oliver Peoples started in 1986 when opticians Larry and Dennis Leight fulfilled their dream and opened their first optical boutique on legendary Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. Earlier that year, they purchased an estate collection of vintage American-made eyewear. The assortment included thousands of beautifully filigreed rimless and metal frames, including clip-on metal sunglasses produced by iconic American companies, such as by Bausch & Lomb and American Optical. All the frames were unworn, in mint condition and in their original packaging. It was a goldmine for the Leight’s, given their love for 1940s -1960s eyewear.
The brothers purchased the entire lot, which included a receipt signed with the name “Oliver Peoples,” who they reasoned was the original owner or distributor. When they decided to sell the estate collection in their retail store, it only seemed fitting they use the name in his honor. It was then that their vision was realized: to design a collection of eyewear, implement innovative marketing strategies, and create a unique retail experience in their own gallery-like setting.
In 1987, the Oliver Peoples collection (inspired by the vintage frames purchased in the estate sale) was introduced as wholesale. It was quite a departure from the futuristic styles and geometric shapes dominant in the late 80’s. Because runway fashion was moving in a vintage-inspired direction, the debut of the retro collection was fortuitously timed, as the direction of eyewear changed globally.
Founder & Creative Director:
Larry Leight was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. With a passion for surfing and travel, he sought a trade that would allow him creativity as well as freedom. With the encouragement of a family friend who was an optometrist, Larry earned a degree as a certified optician and began his journey in the eyewear industry. Larry gained some experience in design, sales, and marketing at high-end optical stores before venturing out on his own. He envisioned designing fashionable, desirable, quality eyewear for progressive, stylish individuals.
Larry’s designs and unique philosophy have changed the course of eyewear and influenced designers around the world. His designs have been featured on the faces of top models in several of the most recognized fashion magazines globally. He collaborated on the launch of Prada, MiuMiu, Jil Sander, Helmut Lang, and Vera Wang’s eyewear brands. He is also one of the first eyewear designers to be elected as a member of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America). His opinion and expertise in the field of eyewear design is sought after worldwide.