Unlike so many new eyewear brands, you know a pair of Garrett Leight glasses as soon as you see them. They somehow manage to be statement-making and completely understated at the same time; the opposite of the heavy-handed (literally and figuratively) frames that you see everywhere else.
If you’re new to the brand here’s a quick rundown: Garrett is the son of eyewear legend Larry Leight, who founded Oliver Peoples, and started his own thing about six years ago, after learning the ropes at OP and a brief stint making glasses for streetwear brands. Today, Garrett Leight California Optical has three freestanding stores in Los Angeles, one in San Francisco, and one in New York, along with dozens of wholesale partners (think: Barneys and the like).
Last week, on the heels of Leight’s second Venice store opening (his first, which opened back in 2009, sells third-party brands), and the announcement that he’s working on a limited-edition collection with his father, called Mr. Leight, we drilled the man on his 10 Essentials. The conclusion: His prized stuff is just like designs; stylish but pared down and functional above all else.
Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Cap
“I used to have a superstition where at the beginning of every season I’d have buy a new Dodgers hat. It was just based on the hope that they’d win the World Series that year. I finally gave up about eight years ago and I’ve had this hat since then. I wear a lot of hats in general but this is my go-to. I’ve got to represent my city. My dad took me to Dodgers games all the time when I was little and I still go to about five games a year, maybe more.”
Leica T Surface Edition Camera
“This camera takes perfect photos and is so easy to use. It’s nice because while it’s digital, you can’t preview the photos after you take them so it still has that element of discovery. It still feels a little old school. I probably don’t know how to use it fully and completely but it’s just fun. I take it on trips, I take great photos of my daughter with it.”
Handmade Rings from Tokyo
“I wore a ring that was very similar to this woven ring (left) for 15 years. It was my parent’s promise ring and I very sadly lost it last summer in the ocean. I went to Tokyo in October and happened to find this similar ring at this little store that I like in Harajuku called Garden. I bought it along with this other one, which has more of a signet shape. I wear them both every day now.”
“My phone is my wife’s biggest nightmare, but it’s definitely one of my essentials. I’m not really into social media. I mean, I’m a product of this generation so of course I use it and like it, but I lose interest really quickly. I mostly use my phone to work and to read articles. I don’t like opening my computer unless I’m sitting at my desk and I try to never use it at home. I feel like I can be more present with my family if I just limit myself to my phone when I’m with them.”
Moroccan Beaded Bracelet
“My wife and I both wear these bracelets every day. A very close friend of ours goes to Morocco often, and he was wearing the bracelet and we loved it. We asked him to get us some from the markets there next time he went. So as a wedding gift he did, and we haven't taken them off since. Other than this bracelet, I wear only silver jewelry. I think it’s rad when people mix metals but I just personally don’t do it. I tend to stick with silver. I think it’s less flashy and more toned-down.”
Saint Laurent Leather Wallet
“I had a Goyard wallet for a long time with my initials on it but I wanted to save it for one of my kids so I bought this one. I’ve had it probably a couple of years now and it’s wearing in quite well. It’s a very functional item for me but I also bought it a little bit because I was into what Hedi Slimane was doing, and the fact that he was in LA, and I wanted to support that.”
Garrett Leight Tinted Wilson Glasses
“I wear a lot of different glasses, like our Kinney and our Grant frames, but these are the ones I wear the most. I just like the way they feel and I like that they can be worn inside or outside. I have a clip-on I sometimes use if I really want to cover my eyes. I designed them four years ago, they’re inspired by sort of a ‘40s, British style. The filigree detail on the hinges is nice.”
Tudor 42mm Glamour Double Date Watch
“This is my nicest watch and I don’t wear it every day but I love it. I usually wear it when I travel for work, because it’s nice to not have to pull out your phone to check the time. Or I’ll wear it to a nice dinner because it looks dressed up. And I wear to the office a couple of times a week as well. I’m not a watch guy, but I have a few. I have some hand-me-downs from my dad, a more casual watch, and then this.”
Santa Maria Novella Alba Di Seoul Cologne
“I went to my first Pitti Uomo about two years ago and Josh Peskowitz told me to go to Santa Maria Novella while I was in town. It’s this beautiful historic perfumery that also uses technology in really cool ways. The scent is amazing and so is the packaging, but the experience of buying it also made me fall in love with it.
Vans Authentic Sneakers
“I wear Vans 90% of the time. I have these in multiple colors—white, off-white, black, blue, leopard—and just rotate. I would say each pair lasts me about a year. I like ‘em new, I like ‘em dirty, but I don’t like ‘em too beat up. I’ve never been much of a Chucks guy. I think it’s a little bit of a California thing. I only wear high-tops if it’s a basketball shoe, like Penny Hardaway’s or something. Otherwise it’s Vans or maybe Common Projects or something.”