When we first heard about Mr Leight, it almost sounded too good to be true. Not only was one of our favourite designers, Garrett Leight starting work on some new and exciting brand collaboration, he was doing it together with his Dad; Oliver Peoples’ founder, Larry Leight. In the eyewear world, this was a supergroup of unprecedented proportions; an eyewear Dylan and Bowie, if you will. But could they pull it off? Would it ever live up to the hype? Late last year, our Head Honcho, Tareq was picked to be one of the first to find out.
“I wouldn’t have done this with anyone else...” - LL
Hosted by the duo in a cosy showroom somewhere in Paris, Tareq attended the launch with just a handful of other European eyewear buffs. “My Dad and I are very excited to have you all here tonight.” Garrett started the presentation, quickly getting onto how integral the pair’s relationship was to the brand. “I’m insanely proud and grateful that somehow we’ve made it in the same universe. It’s crazy, we’ve been here all day showing customers that met my dad 30 years ago and I have a separate relationship with 30 years later.” And Larry agreed, going on to say how big a fan he was of GLCO and how he “wouldn’t have done this with anyone else.”
(From left to right) Larry Leight, Tareq, Garret Leight, Erika, and Mr Leight's UK agent - Will at the Mr Leight launch event in Paris.
But it wasn’t until the pair revealed the frames and got onto the build and material choices that it became clear this father-son chemistry is responsible for more than just a good brand story; it’s at the core of a collection of pretty special eyewear. A collection that’s confidently and luxuriously lowkey, inspired by the lifestyles of the Hollywood hills. As Garrett put it on the night, Mr Leight is something “more refined and more perfected.”
We’re chuffed to have been picked as one of only seventy-two retailers in the world stocking Mr Leight, and one of only five in the UK. We’re even more excited to announce that the first batch has finally arrived on the shelves of our Manchester HQ. But what exactly is so exciting about this debut collection? Should you be excited too?
Mr Leight's Aviator-inspired Doheny SL (Hollywood pool not included)
To begin with, the whole range has been handmade in Japan by the same band of eyewear masters that have worked with Larry for decades. This has made for a range of frames that have the feel, the weight, and the build you’d expect from a properly handcrafted pair of glasses. Take a closer look and you’ll find it’s in the harder-to-see bits where the really fastidious attention to detail shines; the metal work on the adjustable temples, the detailing on the bridges, and the scrupulous construction of each hinge are all pretty much spectacular.
Materials-wise, they’ve kept to these same high standards without getting showy. Where acetate’s concerned, that’s meant going again to Japan and working with the best of the material’s producers and has made for some optimally glossy frames with a deliciously natural feel.
Cool, calm, and collected; Mr Leight's Griffith CL frames include 12 karat white gold plating. Yikes.
In the metallic side of the collection, they’ve balanced practicality and aesthetic, picking hardy titanium and including precious metal plating. When you pair those kinda premium materials with the considered mix of traditional and modernist designs, you get a feel that Garrett and Larry are really onto something.
If Mr Leight sounds like your cup of tea (and let’s face it, of course it is) you can find out more about the individual frames in the collection here. If you want to take a closer look, get yourself into our Manchester Store. Here’s how to get there.