Oliver Peoples Style Watch
Our friends at Oliver Peoples traveled from their native Los Angeles to throw a “bougie barbecue” in New York. Guests sipped a summery concoction of lemonade and vodka while perusing the latest styles. Oliver Peoples’ CEO Larry Leight walked us through his favorite frames and talked trends, inspiration, and his love of women’s shoes.
NM: What are some of today’s hottest eyewear trends?
LL: I think people are still gravitating towards the wayfarer look. I love our popular Emelita frame because it’s sort of a relaxed wayfarer. Also, the round style is still big, and I think our Blondell style is that perfect round shape that isn’t too severe. Today’s customers are drawn to something a little different. Our J.Gold style is a mix of acetate and titanium with pops of color. It’s hip and fun.
NM: What is the state of Oliver Peoples now?
LL: We’ve been in business for 26 years and we’ve proven what we set out to do without selling out. Our goal was to always appeal to a certain clientele that appreciates understated luxury and consistency, and I think we’ve done that.
NM: How would you describe the Oliver Peoples customer?
LL: Influential, progressive, humble, discreet and of course, successful.
NM: Where does the name Oliver Peoples come from?
LL: When we first started the business, we found an entire estate eyewear catalog from this old American company owned by a man named Oliver Peoples. So we named the company in memory of him. I guess he didn’t have any family because no one came after us! It sounded sort of British and intelligent and quirky, and just felt right.
NM: How do you name your frames?
LL: It’s a process like anything else. Maybe it’s a character in a movie or from a period in time, or whom I imagine would wear this frame. It’s a certain vision of a person that exists or could exist.
NM: Who would be your ideal collaborator?
LL: I am critical of collaborations and don’t believe in collaborating just for the sake of putting my name with someone else’s, but I would have to say Johnny Depp or Kate Moss.
NM: What are your passions outside of eyewear?
LL: Furniture, design, women’s shoe shopping, especially for my wife. I’m always bringing her home new shoes. It’s amazing what shoe designers are doing these days. I enjoy really anything that has to do with style.
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