April 26, 2017

Double Take

New Garrett Leight California Optical x Nick Wooster Collab

garrettleightGlasses are in Garrett Leight’s DNA. His father, Larry Leight, founded Oliver Peoples in the ’80s and Garrett cut his teeth at the optical brand’s West Hollywood flagship. It wasn’t a given that he would follow his father’s footsteps—he’s entertained options as tennis pro, DJ, and sports journalist. But the question was answered for good when he opened his eponymous Venice Beach shop in 2010. “I’m creative and I have passion for many things, but I really love eyewear. I grew up surrounded by it. It runs in the family.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country in New York, Forty Five Ten Men’s Fashion Director Nick Wooster doesn’t like sunglasses. He loves them with a particular fervor that borders on obsession. “I always carry three or four pairs for different scenarios,” he says. “One for bright sunlight, one for overcast days, another for rainy days, a rose-tinted pair…”

Neither Wooster nor Leight can remember who suggested the sunglass collaboration, likely because the idea came so organically. “I remember learning about Nick years ago when a menswear blog posted pics of him wearing our glasses and they looked so cool on him,” says Leight. The two eventually were introduced through a friend of a friend and started imaging the project. “Whenever I work on a collaboration, I want to make sure it’s with a field authority—someone who’s the best,” says Wooster. “I love Garrett’s aesthetic and what he’s doing, so it just seemed right.”

For the limited-edition SS17 collection, the two started with one of GLCO’s best-selling styles, the Harding. “It’s such an iconic style for us that I didn’t imagine us ever touching it,” says Leight. But the Harding was the perfect medium for Wooster’s influence. They took the Arthur Miller-inspired frame and flattened the traditional six-base curve to a zero-base, giving it a modern feel. The lenses’ four color options—blue, olive, rose, and sunshine yellow—reflect Wooster’s distinct style. “We did the military green because I love everything in that color. Pink is also important to me. It’s the club soda of colors. It goes with everything.”

The lenses feature a hidden homage to Wooster: a “breath logo” of his silhouette that only appears when fogged. “Nick was initially against it because he didn’t want it be all about him,” says Leight. “But it was too good. We couldn’t resist.”

The Details: Visit the GLCO x NW pop-up shop at Forty Five Ten (1615 Main Street) through May 31. And get ready to see lots more of Leight. The brand opens its fifth store in the Knox-Henderson neighborhood this summer.