In 1986 opticians Larry and Dennis Leight acquired a collection of vintage American eyewear from the 1940‟s-60‟s at an estate auction. The collection of over a thousand frames included clip on sunglasses, rimless and metal frames as well as a receipt signed “Oliver Peoples” whom they believed to be the original owner.
They decided to sell the collection in their West Hollywood store they named the collection Oliver Peoples as a tribute. The classic and retro styles were a departure from the futuristic and contemporary styles that dominated the eye-wear market in the late eighties. The collection was such a success that they decided to design their own frames inspired by the original auction lot.
They also used innovative marketing strategies such as using celebrity product placement and collaborations with fashion brands. This resulted in Larry Leight being elected the first eyewear design to be a member of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America).