An Investigation Into Oliver Peoples
Photography by Ape to Gentleman
A brand born on Sunset Boulevard, Oliver Peoples was founded in 1987 in the heart of West Hollywood. The iconic, unique culture of Los Angeles, with its vibrant film, fashion, art, and music scenes, has driven the brand’s inspiration over the last 30 years.
From their founding, Oliver Peoples shared California’s deep rooted passion for crafting superior products and obsessing over quality service, and these values remain at their heart to this day.
In the late 1980s, the company was inspired to make their first design based on an estate collection of vintage American-made eyewear which the brand’s founders purchased. The more laid back, sophisticated look of the design was a stark departure from the brazen geometric shapes and wacky futuristic designs which were prevalent at the time.
The first Oliver Peoples collections were quite the opposite: classic, timeless designs presented in an array of natural tortoise shell hues, subtly detailed and discreetly branded. Since then, the direction of eyewear has changed globally, but the vintage aesthetic that inspired the first collections remains a key theme for the brand.
Soon after the collection was released, stories and editorial pieces highlighting the then-distinct eyewear began to appear in fashion magazines all over the world. Two years later, in 1989, the first flagship store opened in Tokyo, Japan. Two additional stores were later added in Daikanyama (2012) and Nagoya (2013).
Today, Oliver Peoples stores can be found all over the world, including London, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and of course, throughout the brand’s home of California.
Preferring to let design, rather than overt branding, do the talking, all of their frames are logo-free, and still handmade in Italy in designs that define their heritage. This style of working has led them to amass a considerable celebrity following, with Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise Angelina Jolie, and even former President Obama, who was pictured wearing Oliver Peoples sunglasses on holiday in Indonesia this year, considered to be among their fans.
Being founded in LA, and with so many of today’s film stars enjoying the brand, it is only right that Oliver Peoples have further explored their heritage by paying tribute to one of Hollywood’s biggest names of the past. Pictured is their recent collaboration with the estate of the classic Californian movie star, Gregory Peck. This iconic design is inspired by the signature style worn by its namesake in To Kill A Mockingbird, and is available in both optical and sun.
Sunglasses pictured above: Oliver Peoples Gregory Peck Sun OV5217S 1178/P1 Black and Dark Tortoise/Grey from PRETAVOIR