Oliver Peoples is a well-known eyewear brand that has collaborated with designers such as Balmain and has been worn by everyone from Spike Lee and Jack Nicholson to Jessica Simpson and Kate Moss.
Now, it has made itself at home in Chicago!
A few days ago, I was invited to a press breakfast to discuss the store’s grand opening and try on oodles of Oliver Peoples eyewear. Held at the RIA restaurant in the luxuriously chic Elysian Hotel, the breakfast also gave attendees a chance to chat with founder Larry Leight and CEO David Schulte about the brand and why it chose Chicago for its newest retail location.
I must admit, deciding on which pair of frames I liked the most proved to be a difficult task. As a newbie to the Oliver Peoples brand, I was impressed by the versatility and timeless style of each collection. Everyone in attendance tried on several pairs and captured photos of one another wearing some of their favorites.
The “star” of the show was the limited edition sunglasses (only 50 available) created specifically for the Chicago boutique. The classic aviator design with 24kt gold coated lenses and a case bearing the city’s skyline was a definite hit!
After a few minutes of playing eyewear dressup and taking turns in front of the mirror, it was time for breakfast.
After the incredibly delicious meal was served, we were given the opportunity to ask Larry and David everything we wanted to know about Oliver Peoples. From the intriguing Q&A session, here’s what we learned:
- The Chicago retail store was a no-brainer. David explained how they had been considering Chicago for awhile and the only roadblock was finding a prime location.
- The location, situated on the corner of Oak and Rush, was formerly the loading dock for Barneys
- Oliver Peoples prides itself on its finely made frames, high quality lenses and timeless designs. Larry sums all of that up in the brand’s motto “For now, always”.
- Besides the limited edition Chicago sunglasses, Larry believes that the O’Malley (shown below) will be a bestseller amongst Chicagoans. Larry’s prediction appears to be right on the money seeing as that they were the first style I was anxious to photograph AND four pairs were sold on the first day.
From the products to the people, Oliver Peoples is an impressive brand that will fit in quite nicely on the Gold Coast. Make sure you stop by the brand spankin’ new store to check out the frames in person. And hurry if you want to get your hands on a pair of those limited edition Chicago shades!
Sidenote: I received the Oliver Peoples Seven CD in my gift bag that day and it is amazing! As a music lover, I was impressed when I noticed the playlist included artists like Jose James and Little Dragon. Then, when I finally had an opportunity to listen to it, I was even more blown away by the artists I was previously unaware of. At the very least, pick up this CD when you visit the store. You won’t be disappointed.
Side-Sidenote: The food and service at RIA was impeccable! If you haven’t paid them a visit yet, make reservations now! Just make sure you invite me.