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Garrett Leight California Optics

When it comes to investing in a really nice pair of sunglasses, voting with your wallet on the Italians is usually a safe bet. However, there’s a younger, hungrier name at the table, and it’s looking to turn the tide on the quality of premium, vintage-inspired optics — right here in California. Given Garrett Leight's background as optical royalty (you might know Garrett’s father — Larry Leight, co-founder of Oliver Peoples), the Venice Beach upstart already has a leg up on the competition. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s already a natural; designing soulful, ultra-classic frames inspired by the golden age of travel and optical choices of history’s most iconic personalities — folks like famed playwright (and Marilyn Monroe husband) Arthur Miller, and the father of Gonzo Journalism Hunter S. Thompson.

But the difference that really puts Garrett Leight at or above anything we’ve seen from Italy’s finest, is an incredible attention to detail. Each frame is hand-finished in house, and features a staggering level of detail, like rich handmade acetates, laser-etching and custom hardware inlays, and intricate, antiqued wire-core temples. Obviously, none of this stuff has any direct impact on what you see when you put them on, but it’s this summation of thoughtful detail that makes every pair of Garrett Leights such a joy to wear. Plus, the clarity of these glasses leaves absolutely no doubt in our minds that Garrett Leight is sampling the very best CR-39 and glass lenses in the game — stuff that absolutely does matter every time you slide them over your eyes.

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