Garrett Leight Explains the Enduring Power of the Press

When Colette didn’t jump at his new line, he generated some buzz.

Garrett Leight acknowledges that being the son of the Oliver Peoples brand co-founder has opened a few doors for him in the eyewear business. But when he embarked upon designing and selling his own line, the most important door wasn’t even slightly ajar. “I knew that I didn't want to pitch anybody until I opened with Colette, so I flew out to Paris, like, three times,” says the younger Leight, whose eponymous line was introduced in 2011. “I didn't know the buyers.” Then, taking a page from the playbook of his father, who launched the Oliver Peoples line on a 1987 cover of German Vogue, Garrett hit the media. “I went to New York and I got as much press as possible with top magazines; posted something and I forwarded that to Colette. Someone responded to one of my emails and I was able to show them my collection and they bought it — same thing with Barneys.”

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