The Light Behind Oliver Peoples

Leight’s handcrafted designs and unique philosophy have altered the course of eyewear and influenced designers around the globe. His designs have been featured on the faces of top models and celebrities in several of the most notable fashion magazines globally. However, Leight wants his brand to not only appeal to famous people but to ordinary individuals as well. He states, “The best part about the whole adventure is that the customer we appeal to is exactly who I have always had in mind.” Additionally, Leight has collaborated on the launch of Prada, MiuMiu, Jil Sander, Helmut Lang, and Vera Wang’s eyewear brands. Oliver People prides itself on its exclusivity and discretion, which separates the brand from other designer eyewear brands. According to Leight, there is no logo on the outside of the frame simply because the design and discoverability attracts people to the brand. Another exclusive aspect of Oliver Peoples is the VFX sunglass lens; its own technologically advanced polarized and gradient photo chromic mineral glass lenses available in custom colors.

In 1994, Oliver Peoples entered a licensing agreement with notable British clothing designer Sir Paul Smith to design Paul Smith Spectacles. The collection melds design details synonymous with Sir Paul Smith along with the experience and craftsmanship of Oliver Peoples. Leight developed a multi-layer color lamination process that altered the direction of the eyewear industry and popularized the colored plastic frame that remains relevant today.

In 2003, Oliver Peoples launched Mosley Tribes, a unisex sunglass brand brought to you by the same design and marketing team as Oliver Peoples. This line is the perfect pairing of Oliver Peoples aesthetics with visionaries from active lifestyle and sports worlds. Mosley is an expression of euphoric feeling and Tribes encompasses groups of individuals who are united as one.

Last year Leight was inspired by his personal archive and wholesale collection of original Oliver People designs, and launched the Original Vintage Circa 1987. Original 1950s vintage tinted glasses in rare shades were made available in select stores. Based on the popularity of these original designs, Oliver Peoples re-released a limited number of three of the most iconic styles from the first wholesale collection. These styles include the OP-505, the first pair introduced in the 1986 debut collection, the OP-1955, a unique style known for its contrasting tortoise shell colors, and the O’Malley, named after former LA Dodgers’ owner Peter O’Malley. These were worn and made famous by Christian Bale in the classic cult film, “American Physco.” The collection was showcased in a photo shoot and short film at Jay Penske’s Dragon Books hilltop Bel Air gallery.

This year Oliver Peoples aligned with acclaimed photographer and aspiring director, Lisa Eisner, to create its 2011 campaign. “Rainbow House,” with real life couple Devendra Banhart and Rebecca Schwartz, focuses on intimacy and sexuality in an authentic, contemporary Southern California setting. Always pushing the envelope with his designs and collaborations, we can only wonder what Leight will bring to the table in 2012!

Oliver Peoples eyewear is sold in the most exclusive boutiques and department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, Fred Segal and Neiman Marcus.