Garrett Leight - getting to know the independent eyewear designer

Garrett Leight: Get to Know the Eyewear Genius

It’s 2011, hoards of middle aged women are reading 50 Shades of Grey, people everywhere are lying face down in public under the guise of ‘planking’ and somewhere in deepest darkest Los Angeles a man called Garrett Leight is about to release his first eyewear collection.

If you’ve taken the time to peruse our online wares, you may have noticed that Garrett Leight takes a precedence over other names on our site. It was the first brand we added to our pages and the one we stock the most of. And there’s a very good reason for that. You see, we’re really rather fond of Garrett and his brand GLCO, and, seeing as we love them so much, we thought it only right and proper that we take the time to tell you a little more about them and explain how they came to be one of the most sought after and respected eyewear brands out there today.

Family Affair

What do you do with your life if your Dad is the founder of a large successful optical brand? You become the founder of your own large successful optical brand of course, be rude not to really.

The optical bug didn’t initially manifest itself in the Leight family with Garrett, but rather with his father Larry, some 30 years earlier. Larry Leight is the co-founder of legendary eyewear brand Oliver Peoples, seen gracing the faces of everyone from Christian Bale in American Psycho, to Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, and some marginally less violent people in between. Garrett recounts how he got into the eyewear scene after partaking in a spot of work experience with Oliver Peoples back in the day, admitting that he didn’t really know what his Dad actually did for a living until then. Larry recently moved on from the brand after a commendable 30 years at the helm.

garrett leight and larry leight
Garrett Leight with his father Larry Leight

Back when we interviewed Garrett Leight in April this year, he divulged that he was sure one day he and Larry would work together. Since that premonition, Larry has joined the business and taken on the role of Design Consultant at GLCO, the collaboration Garrett alluded to has surfaced in the form of a new collection, simply called, Mr Leight.

Beach Beginnings

Starting out with just four frames, Hampton, Rialto, Speedway and Brooks, Garrett named each pair after a street in his hometown of Venice Beach. A place he casually describes as somewhere to ‘rent a nice house, lay out in the sun, walk around and eat food.’

Garrett Leight shop

La Brea Garrett Leight store, Los Angeles

The brand, who define their eyewear as having a ‘California easy-going style’, have managed to achieve that elusive celebrity endorsement, with everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Kendall Jenner owning a pair, or 5.

Since opening their flagship store on fashion forward La Brea Ave in the heart of LA, they've had countless collabs, with the likes of Thierry Lasry, Amelie Pichard and even contemporary menswear designer Mark McNairy getting in on the action. Such is GLCO's love of eyewear, they even publish a regular magazine, Spectacle, dedicated to their passion for glasses and LA culture.

spectacle magazine garrett leightSpectacle Magazine allows Garrett Leight to talk about the people and places that inspire him

Garrett Leight Frames

GLCO are producing exciting eyewear that fully embodies the Californian spirit, and, despite still being a relatively new brand, are already a firm favourite on the shelves of Seen. Frames like the Hampton, Brooks, and Wilson from early collections have pretty much secured their place as modern classics. More recent collections have taken the Garrett Leight style even further, producing a whole load of new jaw-droppers like ClunePenmar, Kinney, and Beaumont.

Expertly crafted in China

Designed in California but handmade in China, Garrett Leight say they could make their eyewear anywhere in the world but choose to make them in China because of the quality craftsmanship, attention to detail and cutting edge technology that their Chinese factories use. The frames are made from source cured acetate and high quality metals from leading suppliers in Japan, Italy and China.

Want to know more? Here’s an extra little titbit about why they chose to make their frames where they do.


If want to know more about Garrett Leight, or fancy trying on a pair in real life, why not head into the Seen HQ. Don't know how to find us? Worry not: Here's how to find our Manchester opticians.