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; Style.com 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.”