With Mr. Leight, a father-and-son eyewear legacy continues.
By Editor-At-Large Jamie Rosen.
Garrett Leight’s first memory of sunglasses was standing in the window at Oliver Peoples, the American luxury eyewear company his father Larry co-founded, when he was eight years old. “My friend and I would pretend to be mannequins on Sunset Boulevard and see if passersby would notice,” he says. “And try not to laugh.” Fast forward a few decades, and the father-son duo have advanced artisanal eyewear together with the launch of Mr. Leight. It is a collaboration meant to bridge the gap between multiple generations, and to discover something new at the intersection of past and present, keeping a strong nod to that classic Slim Aarons sensibility.
Larry Leight attributes his understanding of trends, current cultural nuances, and personal style to his ability to create eyewear designs that are not only desirable but also aspirational. The added good news, he says, is that “the quality of eyewear is more advanced today than in the past.” That’s what has enabled Mr. Leight to utilize materials like titanium and pearl nose pads, Japanese acetate and precious metal frames, as well as rare handcrafted techniques such as Hawaiian-inspired filigree and hexagonal hinges. Everything is made in Japan, in places the family has been working with for 30 years.
The Mr. Leight styles are familiar, yet rendered in new ways. ” “My two personal favorites are Rell and Dean,” says Garrett. “I love the signature titanium flexible temple feature on the Mr. Leight frames, so that’s always a bonus. These two designs specifically have a beautifully unique new plaque design on the front, too.”
When it comes to choosing the frames that work for you, Larry recommends viewing eyewear as an extension of your personal style, and taking into account your facial features, skin tone, eyes, and hair to help ensure that the eyewear enhances individual features. “I also always suggest the involvement of a friend or someone with a keen sense of fashion is a great way to receive input and guidance,” he says.
But no matter what style you choose, Larry has an ethos that dovetails with the Conservatory’s Considered Luxury beautifully. “By valuing iconic and memorable trends over passing fads,” he says. “I am focusing on lasting style.”