Larry Leight, along with his brother Dennis, founded Oliver Peoples nearly 25 years ago. It was built on vintage inspired eyewear and now nearly two and half decades on, Oliver Peoples has come full circle and is now considered vintage itself. To celebrate this fact, Oliver Peoples is re-issuing three classic designs. We met up with Larry at the Haymarket Hotel in London to talk about the new vintage collection, Spring '11 trends and everything glasses related.
CG - Oliver Peoples started when you bought an auction lot of vintage glasses, tell us about that?
LL- I had been a trained optician since 1981. It was 1986 and we bought at auction in Connecticut a lot that contained 6000 frames, brochures, posters, lenses, everything, which had been owned by a guy called Oliver Peoples. It cost $5000. He had tried selling it to various stores but they only wanted a couple of pieces here and there. My brother and I came together and we wanted to get away from what everybody else was doing, it was an unusual lot so we got it. We created a whole category of eyewear that didn't exist before.
CG - Is there much left?
LL - The frames are mostly gone but we still have the catalogues, brochures and posters. When we opened our first store we sold other brands but everybody made a beeline to the vintage area. They liked the lack of logos, the architecture and filigree of the glasses. Then when we ran out we started to manufacture our own line but using the old manufacturing processes; handmade, original pins and hinges.
CG - You designed a pair for Andy Warhol?
LL- Yes, before Oliver Peoples I designed a pair with a flip-down which was featured on the cover of a German magazine.
CG - Tell us about the re-released vintage collection?
These are three iconic styles that are recognised by people as Oliver Peoples, made in exactly the same way. There is the O'Malley, which was named after the 1950s owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. It's the pair Patrick Bateman wears in 'American Psycho' and Christian Bale wore them in the movie, the 505 and 1955 which became definitive styles of the 80s. They will be available from December in a limited number and come with an original box and special cleaning cloth which is printed with our very first advertising campaign.
CG - Larry, what are the big trends for next year's eyewear?
LL - In Mosely Tribes (Oliver Peoples' younger sportier label, the Miu Miu to Oliver Peoples Prada) there are lots of metal frames and aviator shapes, plastics, utililtarian and miltary influences with polarise lenses. Polarise lenses eliminate haze and reflection, they make everything really clear, they allow fisherman to see through the water. We've also made holes in the ends so you can attach one of our new leather retainers with a gromet.
In Oliver Peoples we have a new style called the Jack One, it was inspired by a picture of Neil Diamond. It's a pair of metal framed aviators with the sides cut off. A guy called Jack who owned a shop called Optique Boutique in LA during the 1970s, used to take Rayban Aviators and bend them into this shape for every customer and then make new lenses for them.
CG - What's your favourite Oliver Peoples pair?
LL - My favourite pair is the O'Malley (pictured) it's simple or 'Aero', I never imagined this would still be our best seller.
CG - Favourite image or person in glasses?
LL - Sting in 'O'Malley', Claudia Schiffer wearing the '1955' and Brad Pitt in 'Aero'.
CG - Any tips about buying glasses or sunglasses Larry?
LL - I think it's important for people know their own style, don't try to be somebody they aren't. Choose the right style to where they live and what they are doing and how they dress. Frames have a personality. Make sure your eyewear fits what you do.
CG - Any chance of an Oliver Peoples store in London soon?
LL - We do really well here and it would be the first perfect location outside the US.
Read Michelle from Oliver Peoples How to... Look after your glasses and sunglasses - Click here
If you want them to last and continue to look good you should follow these few simple steps says Senior Brand Director of Oliver Peoples, Michelle Lynn Walnum
1. Never put them on the top of head, it stretches them out.
2. Don't leave them in the sun or the car, plastic frames will distort in the heat and lose shape.
3. Always put them in their hard case.
4. Good eye wear needs maintenance. Go to the opticians every 3 to 6 months to have the screws tightened, nose pads cleaned or changed and have the glasses adjusted.
Oliver Peoples was founded in Los Angeles in 1986 by designer Larry Leight. A professional optician, the company started after Larry bought an auction lot of vintage frames in Connecticut. The previous owner, who had collected the frames over years, was called Oliver Peoples, hence the name.
The retro inspired collections have made Oliver Peoples one of the world's most respected names in eye wear over the last twenty years. Still made with the care and attention of frames past, Oliver Peoples are top quality in terms of manufacture and design. Oliver Peoples have made eye wear collections for such illustrious names as Paul Smith, Prada and Helmut Lang.
Find out how Oliver Peoples started when we met the founder Larry Leight - Click here
Okay, okay, for you discerning fashion gents out there this does have something of the Neil Barrett's about it, albeit with more colour. (He's moved onto lightning strikes anyway!)
Valentino are knocking it out of the park at the moment. They've lucked out on their Creative Directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, who are creating both commercial and beautiful items while keep all the different layers of fashion consumers happy.
If you're a ChicGeek reader then you're obviously part of the most sophisticated layer and nothing gets more sophisticated than this. Definitely a 'fashion' piece, it still has legs to become something of a timeless classic. The design is said to draw inspiration from the work of Australian artist Esther Stewart. A detectable blue sheepskin collar allows it to venture into deeper winter territory and despite keeping you warm, nothing looks cooler.
Left & Below - Valentino - Panelled Bomber Jacket With Shearling Collar - £1715
TheChicGeek casts his discerning editor’s eye over the new collection from Fossil. From timepieces to bags, jewellery to small leather goods, Fossil has something for everyman this season. Here are TheChicGeek’s top picks and how you should wear them:
1. For something dressier and more grown-up, for the new season, try this Buchanan Chronograph with a smart black leather strap. Team with a suit for work or a fine knit for an evening out.
Left - Buchanan Chronograph Black Leather Watch - £165
2. Apart from adding a quality finish to this backpack, the leather details add a practicality and durability which will only get better with wear. Looks great with a hoodie and jeans.
Right - Estate Backpack - £169
3. Simple, yet effective, this braided leather bracelet is fastened with a generous hook in a copper coloured metal.
Left - Hook Detail Bracelet - £49
4. It is the subtle touches that separate the plain fashionable from the super stylish. This simple Concorde-like pin will look great on the lapel of a dark suit without drawing too much attention.
Right - Paper Airplane Pin - £19
5. Perfect for the huge AW15 shearling/flight jacket trend, this watch blends the best retro qualities with Fossil's famous leather for the most stylish of contemporary aviators. Wear with an oversized knit and leather/sheepskin flight jacket.
Left - Breaker Chronograph Vaccheta Leather Watch - £185
What are you favourite pieces?
Get involved @fossil #CallingAllCurious
See more here
French snow and cold weather specialist, Moncler, has produced capsule collections before. I was a big fan of Moncler V, a few years back.
Left - The new Moncler A capsule collection is deliberately oversized
The latest - Moncler A - a capsule line for the AW15 season, is a team up with AMI, founded in 2011 by Parisian menswear designer Alexandre Mattiussi.
Right - Fashion’s all gone a bit Wes Anderson and this collection is testament to that with the oversized logos and beanie hat styling
The collection features an oversize fit as the hallmark of the range; jackets have wide shoulders and trousers a low crotch for a loose fit. The collection’s other details include oversized zips and cream linings throughout.
The classic Moncler shield logo has been enlarged and features a vintage-look embroidery finish.
TheChicGeek says "This is a great collection. It has just the right amount of exaggeration and there's something very desirable about the Moncler logo and all the quality retro touches. It's also built for the cold as with all the outerwear from Moncler".
Left - Moncler A - Tricolour Wool Zip Cardigan - £580
More ChicGeek picks of the new Moncler A collection below
David Morris, Buyer, MRPORTER
"Common Projects white leather sneakers have gained cult status thanks to their minimalist design and superior construction. I like to pair them with rolled-up selvedge denim jeans and a lightweight knit for a clean understated look”.
Left - Common Projects - Original Achilles Leather Sneakers - £265
"The 'Tony' jacket from Acne Studios is a super luxurious, minimal take on American sportswear. It comes in a beautifully constructed lightweight wool and cashmere-blend. It’s a hand-finished piece and the drawstring hem is a nice touch, it allows you to adjust the fit with ease".
Right - Acne Studios - Tony Wool & Cashmere-Blend Coach Jacket - £650
"I love a crepe sole. These can be styled just as easily with your favourite black jeans and button down shirt as they can be with a suit for more formal occasions. These are on my ‘to get’ list. Crafted in England from fine pebbled leather, these wingtip shoes boast superior construction with their signature pull tabs, comfortable leather linings and those trusty gum soles".
Left - Thom Browne - Pebbled Leather Brogues - £830
"A versatile staple and worthy addition to your casual roster. An easy layering piece - I like to throw it on over a plain white or Breton stripe tee".
Right - Margaret Howell - Ribbed-Collar Cotton-Flannel Shirt - £345
"An extensive grooming kit that comes complete with face cleanser, hydrating cream, shaving serum, spray-on moisturiser and lip cream. Everything you need to freshen up tired skin in the morning or after a long day at the office".
Left - Aesop - MR PORTER Dapper Gentleman Grooming Kit - £110
Trying his best to keep his fringing out of the torrential autumn rain, TheChicGeek sought shelter in one of London's finest Georgian arcades.
Wearing one of the key pieces from the Dsquared2 catwalk, TheChicGeek opted to dress up this typical cowboy style leather jacket for evening with a printed shirt and embroidered cropped trousers, all from the same collection.
The result is something on the Mexican border - one part cowboy, one part Mexican fiesta and plenty of ChicGeek!
Credits - All AW15 Dsquared2
Shot by Robin Forster on #OlympusPEN
More images below
TheChicGeek got the chance to investigate and discover the remastered Fiat 500, this week. At an exclusive event hosted by British singer-songwriter, Ella Eyre, at Potter’s Field Park, next to Tower Bridge, the new FIAT 500 was unveiled and performed with Ella on a giant vinyl record, 15 metres in diameter.
Left - Two badges of style together - Fiat & TheChicGeek
The new FIAT 500 retains the unmistakable look and charm of its predecessor, but with no fewer than 1,800 modifications for 2015.
Right - The new Fiat 500 coordinating very nicely with the sunset
Sebastiano Fedrigo, from FIAT UK, said “You don’t replace an icon - you embrace it and evolve it. The new FIAT 500 has been truly re-mastered and reloaded and what better way to mark the launch with an impressive and memorable event like tonight’s. We are very excited to have worked with such a talented performer and to finally see the new FIAT 500 and Ella Eyre perform together this evening”.
Left - The new Fiat 500 doesn't need The Tower of London in the background to look good
Anyone wishing to keep up with all of the action from the event should follow @FIAT_UK #NewFiat500. The new FIAT 500 will be available in all FIAT showrooms from September 2 starting at £10,890. For more information visit www.fiat.co.uk
I am having daily style dilemmas and wondered if such a savvy gent as yourself might be able to offer some insight.
I have just started my first real-life office job, and the question on my mind every morning as I rush from shower to breakfast table is "what the hell should I wear?" and as I rush out the door clad in my best attempt at cool and understated, doubt creeps in. By lunchtime, i.e. now, I'm more often than not thoroughly unhappy with my chosen duds.
Left - Uniqlo - Oxford Shirt - £19.90
I'd like to point out that the office I find myself in is a very stylish, image-conscious place, so I feel as though a standard shirt, tie and black school trousers combo won't cut it. And I'm just about the only man in the whole place, so there's a dearth of male rolemodels to emulate. And to top it all, the pay is a pittance so I find myself unable to give myself a complete wardrobe makeover.
My question to you is this - what, for you, epitomises good stylish office menswear? And how would you go about tweaking a wardrobe to help ease the transition from student bum to office monkey?
Yours, in sartorial crisis,
Firstly, I think you're over thinking this. Keep it simple. I would suggest getting a few Oxford shirts and some knitwear for when the weather gets cold or that air conditioning kicks in.
For the shirts, go for white and light blue, these go with everything. Uniqlo always has a good selection in lots of sizes. For knitwear, go for a fine merino wool, you don't want anything too thick for indoors. I've tried ASOS' and it washes well and fits nicely at a great price. As for colours, male neutrals such as grey, black or navy.
For bottoms, stick to smart casual trousers such as chinos, these will look great with the above and for shoes something sporty but smart. I'm all over these suede Clarks trigenic trainers, this season - here
Hope this helps,
Right - ASOS Crew Jumper in Merino Wool - £28
Being naturally curious makes TheChicGeek the true geek that he is. He is curious about the new, curious to discover the best and curious enough to try anything once!
Left - What a curious bunch?! On Set - TheChicGeek shooting the new Fossil #CallingAllCurious campaign with the help of a few friends
Well, it's lucky then, that American accessory brand, Fossil, asked TheChicGeek, and a few friends, to take part in their new #CallingAllCurious AW15 campaign.
The current AW15 menswear collection falls under the theme of the ‘Curious Set’. Shot in London, we were tasked with celebrating the curious world of Fossil - its people, products and culture - in a series of images and choosing the product which most represents our personal style.
This season, Fossil has focused on product 'Icons' that have been developed with different colours and finishes. Craftmanship is essential to the collection, bringing attention to unnoticed detail designs in every cut, stitch and bolt.
Right - Marcus from TheChicGeek wearing ‘Estate’ backpack & ‘Grant’ brown leather watch - £125
Representing the concept of accessible cool, Fossil’s identity is anchored in vintage authentic style mixed with a creative spirit and a sense of humour that extends into all its products – watches, jewellery and bags.
From the pick of the new collection, TheChicGeek went for a handsome brown 'Grant' watch with stitched strap and an 'Estate' backpack with stylish and durable leather details and straps in a textured grey finish.
Left - Curious Couple - The Fossil #CallingAllCurious Campaign - womenswear blogger, Fashion Foie Gras, & Marcus from The Chic Geek
Perfect for this curiously new season, it just leaves TheChicGeek curious about how he survived before without them!
See TheChicGeek's Top 5 Fossil Items of the Season - here
So, what makes you curious?
Get involved on social media - #CallingAllCurious @Fossil
WIN TheChicGeek's Fossil watch here
See what makes us all curious in the full @Fossil #CallingAllCurious video below