This week we're excited to sit down with lauded optics designer and hometown food fan, Garrett Leight. Garret, who launched his namesake eyewear line in 2010 has grown a legion of fans drawn to his sleek shades that include chefs, celebrities, and of course the team at The FareTrade while embracing the laid-back lifestyle of Venice, CA. Check out the Garrett Leight California Optical brand and read on to discover more about his inspiration and surprise passion for the culinary world.
What inspired you to start Garrett Leight California Optical? What distinctions do you try to build upon to separate the brand from other companies?
I think I’m just an entrepreneur at heart and I knew nothing else. I had to start my own company because it’s the only thing that made sense to me. I think its interesting that the optical industry is old. I think I’m the youngest brand owner in my space by like 20 years. I know that’s not an accurate statement, but it speaks to what I try to focus on, which is my generation and the youth.
What’s the model you’re currently most fond of?
I’m currently excited about the release of the Van Buren next season. But Kinney is my favorite frame that is out right now.
It’s fall! What are some of your favorite seasonal ingredients you’re looking forward to?
Turkey & Egg Nog…but I don’t think those are ingredients so much. Cinnamon? There has to be something I love that has cinnamon, and cinnamon seems very fall.
What’s the most important thing to throw a perfect dinner party?
Wine! And then whiskey for me and my friends. But the ladies, they need wine.
Where did you draw inspiration from for the Spring/Summer 2015 line?
California and Iconic characters is almost where I always draw inspiration from. But we tried to imagine ourselves on a n oasis when choosing the spring colors. Our own personal oasis.
It’s Happy Hour. What’s your drink of choice?
Do you have a favorite local artisanal treat?
Anything that Travis Lett at Gjelina is making, I’ll eat it, so long as he says its good.
Midnight snack of choice?
Milk and cookies. If not home baked cookies, then truth be told, Oreo’s are the best with milk.
How would you define the style scene in Los Angeles? How do you see these sensibilities melding with the food and restaurant world?
Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world, and not the center of attention for fashion is like New York. I think Los Angeles has improved its fashion scene significantly in the past years, but still, its not NY. That said, its comparable to the Los Angeles food scene because it’s a clash of so many styles and it makes up the city.
What’s up next for you? Any exciting culinary travels or ventures to share?
The only reason I like to travel is food, that is 100% the truth. I live to eat. The only reason I don’t cook is because I love and respect food so much that I don’t want to offend the process or my taste buds for that matter. Every year I go to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, London, Milan, New York and I eat like crazy.
Check out Garrett's namesake eye wear line here + stay in touch with Garrett + the team: