TORONTO- Whoever said enjoying good company, mix and mingling, taking back a few mixed drinks, jamming to house mixes on turn tables, and shopping after closing hours was wrong on a week night, obviously didn’t get the memo at the Spectacle and Oliver Peoples exclusive “Made to Measure” event last Thursday.
On April 26, Spectacle’s flagship store on West Queen West transformed their chic optical shop into an inviting lounge with three open bars, food catering courtesy of Rock Lobster, a live DJ and a private heated outdoor garden as they hosted an exclusive showcasing and shopping event featuring special guest, Larry Leight, founder and creative director for Oliver Peoples.
The “Made to Measure” event provided guests with the opportunity to purchase newly released Oliver Peoples, Paul Smith and Mosley Tribes optical and/or sunglass frames; and were encouraged to create their own custom made pair of glasses by choosing any one of the 50 vintage glass lens options which were at no extra cost thanks to Mr. Leight himself.
“I want to allow people to come and find their frame and pick a tint out to make a perfect match for their personalities and their lifestyles,” he said.
“Say I put a rose brown tint in a frame, it won’t look worse, it’ll look better but different- it’s like jewelry, it’s fashion and it’s totally an accessory.”
Inspired by A-list celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, John Lennon, Billy Idol, Robert Downy, Andy Warhol, Jay-Z, Jack Nicholson and many more, Leight has given fans and customers the opportunity to feel like them on the red carpet with tinted lenses. According to him, if you have tinted lenses, you’re bound to be mistaken for somebody important.
“These celebrities gradually started this trend because when they’re on the red carpet, the cameras and the bright lights that shine in their faces get distracting so they tint the lenses and they come to us and say, ‘I want a medium honey brown or a grey, or a blue,’” Leight said.
“For example, about two years ago, Robert Downy came to us and kept saying ‘I gotta go to this event, I want purple lenses’ and he wanted to keep it a total tint of purple with no gradient and so to me, the trend kept growing on me and now I’m showcasing it.”
Aside from custom vintage tints, Larry Leight also showcased a few of Oliver Peoples’ vintage eyewear collections, something he prides himself on for being 100 per cent vintage and 100 per cent authentic.
“About four years ago, the talks started that vintage was coming back and we didn’t have to look anywhere for them because we had them and the best originals were rereleased… We rereleased three frames two years ago, we released MP2 this year, and one more coming later,” he said.
With vintage styles making a comeback, Leight says it isn’t the easiest to find but he guarantees Oliver Peoples’ frames are the real deal.
“Most people will bring back vintage but they’ll go into the archives and books and bring back someone else’s vintage but we don’t have to do that, we can use our own vintage and that’s pretty rare and that’s really all it is,” he said.
The “Made to Measure” event definitely catered to its vintage frenzies but it also catered to the modern, everyday local clients with the showcase of Oliver Peoples, Paul Smith and Mosley Tribes S/S 2012 collections.
Leight’s creation of Mosley Tribes is what he calls “my thing” because he felt he needed a brand that he felt comfortable wearing on an everyday basis- something aside from the classic Oliver Peoples.
“When I was going to Hawaii, I had surfer friends and I didn’t feel right wearing Oliver Peoples because I didn’t fit in and they were more street so I made Mosley Tribes. Some people just want something younger and new,” he said.
Leight’s collaboration with Paul Smith was an instant hit as they complimented each others simplistic aesthetic and philosophy in design and business.
“He [Paul Smith] was never, never, never about ‘I need to make this many sales, I want to be in all these stores,’ it was just about making the right frames,” he said.
Leight’s collaboration between Oliver Peoples and Paul Smith made history as they were the first to do laminations in frames.
“He was into colour and he inspired us to do laminations because his suits were black and purple so we invented frame colours with black and purple and no one had that yet so that was our claimed thing with Paul Smith and it has been great since then,” he said.
As the crowd got bigger and bigger, and people started modeling frames and lenses, perhaps the only person missing at the “Made to Measure” event was his son, Garrett Leight who is the founder and creative director of his own growing frame company, Garret Leight.
“It’s great to have something new and young out. It’s good to see a young classic brand being born and he has a great story- he’s got huge energy just like me and that’s hard to find but we’re born with it!” Larry Leight said with pride.
Spectacle is the only optical shop to carry Garrett Leight’s collection in Toronto and is one of only three carriers in all of Canada.
With his first time in Canada and his first stop to Toronto, Larry Leight was taken by surprise with our great shops and eatery and even compared it to the big city of New York.
“A couple of areas like Queen St. and other areas have really great stores that are really cute like Tribeca and SoHo and I want to spend more time around the local, cool shops,” he said.
“This is where you want to go; visit local areas and find out what’s really going on.”
With a huge success at Spectacle’s “Made to Measure” event, Larry Leight also made an outstanding appearance at Holt Renfrew the following day to showcase his S/S 2012 collections.