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Travel Diaries: Garrett Leight & Elena Doukas of Mr Leight

10th October 2019 // By Emma Reynolds

In our ongoing Travel Diaries series, Elite Traveler speaks with designers, style icons and gurus in their respective fields on their must-have travel items when trotting the globe.

Garrett Leight, Founder of Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO) & Elena Doukas, Head Product Designer at GLCO and Mr Leight

Leight and Doukas at Firehouse Hotel

Los Angeles

Los Angeles-native Garrett Leight is no stranger to the eyewear business; after all, his father, Larry Leight, started iconic eyewear brand Oliver Peoples more than 30 years ago. Despite this kick-start in the industry, Leight has created his eponymous eyewear label with a distinct style and message, particularly a cool, California vibe in both his sunglasses and glasses for men and women. In addition to his own brand, Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO), he also works with his father on Mr Leight, pairing his fresh take with his father’s decades of craftsmanship expertise.

Hailing from Denver, Elena Doukas is head product designer at both GLCO and Mr Leight and was introduced to the brand when they opened their first concept store on Abbot Kinney Boulevard nearly 10 years ago.

The duo talk to Elite Traveler about their current residence, Los Angeles, and why the sunny city is a never-ending source of inspiration for the brand’s chic range of products.

Inspiration

Doukas and Leight at MTN, a favorite restaurant of theirs in Los Angeles

“I love Los Angeles because the city is full of creatives a constant source of inspiration,” Leight says. “Especially the Hollywood history of iconic characters.”

As for Doukas, she credits Los Angeles for having a big-city feel while maintaining a distinct West Coast feel. “Los Angeles is a huge part of the brand’s DNA,” she says. “We’re constantly looking to different parts of the city for inspiration. There are characters and creatives at every turn that have an individual sense of style.”

The diverse history of the city inspires the design in particular. “From old Hollywood to the movie, Lords of Dogtown, we seek inspiration from what made those eras timeless and iconic.”