Eyewear Company Commemorates 25 Years With Special Brand Initiatives

By Deirdre Carroll: Senior Editor

 Oliver Peoples launched My.OliverPeoples.com website so clients, consumers and fans could shares their experiences about the brand.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Oliver Peoples Inc., founded in 1987, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with a series of initiatives designed to showcase the brand’s quarter of a century history and to propel it into the future.

“Our vision when we started the brand was to design an original and authentic collection of eyewear, utilize innovative marketing strategies and create a unique retail experience in our own gallery,” said Larry Leight, co-founder and creative director of the brand. “Our process is very much the same as when we first started, just on a larger scale.”

Oliver Peoples was acquired by Oakley in February 2006 and, subsequently, Luxottica and Oakley announced their merger in 2007. Since then, Oliver Peoples has proceeded on its own development and marketing path as a part of the Luxottica Group (NYSE:LUX).

“The biggest difference today from when the brand was founded is that there was no internet or social media back then. Our concept was so unique and people were drawn to the discoverability of it. Our global reach existed purely because of word of mouth, our high end retailer support, and my PR efforts—taking our few samples to different editors in the U.S. and Europe and loaning them out for editorial shoots,” recalled Leight.

In celebration of the brand’s 25th anniversary, Oliver Peoples launched My.OliverPeoples.com on Sept. 15. The site is a two-way conduit that highlights Oliver Peoples rich history but also interfaces with clients, consumers and fans worldwide. Built with all the most current technological languages, it is meant to serve as a destination for users to experience the brand on a personal level. It allows the ability to upload images, video and text stories from individual perspectives so consumers can appear as the face of the brand and become a part of Oliver Peoples’ history.

“We are excited to invite fans to join the celebration by contributing their own imagery, media, stories and experiences with the brand,” explained David Schulte, CEO of Oliver Peoples. “We feel that our customers have had unique experiences with Oliver Peoples that should be shared with the rest of the Oliver Peoples community.”

“Today, consumers are discerning and have so much information at their fingertips,” Leight said. “Knowing this, I strive to design frames that stand out, while maintaining an understated aesthetic that appeals to our core consumer. They recognize Oliver Peoples for our designs, quality, discreet branding and authentic Los Angeles heritage.”

A special logo was developed to mark the company’s first year in business.
“The original campaign for Oliver Peoples was ‘Working Opticians’ and to this day, it’s a key message we try to communicate to our consumers,” added Schulte. “We feel it’s the basis of our credibility as an eyewear brand. Our greatest success stories are with independents that are passionate about our brand in the same way we are passionate about their store, the neighborhood they are in, the customer they attract. We are not a flavor of the month brand; we think in the long term and only want to be in business with people in this same mindset.”

To commemorate their 25th birthday, Oliver Peoples produced a special graphic that is a reinterpretation of their original “Working Opticians” advertisement using elements of the brand, past and present.

“Additionally, we continue to use innovative marketing strategies—like our CDs and the short films that we have been producing since 2008—to communicate the lifestyle that surrounds us and inspires what we do,” said Leight.

The brand has kicked off two such initiatives in honor of the anniversary. One is their ninth compilation of music, OP CD9. The CDs are designed at the brand’s Malibu boutique and are meant to capture the quintessential Southern California vibe inherent to the brand. The latest one is a culmination of the past 25 years with each track reflecting a different element that defines the brand and is part of their heritage; a symbol of the music they have been playing in the Oliver Peoples’ stores for the last 25 years.

Acting legend Ray Liotta and up-and-coming actress Bar Paly star in Oliver Peoples 2013 ad campaign.
The second, and most visible new initiative, is the launch of their 2013 campaign which features acting legend Ray Liotta and up-and-coming actress Bar Paly. The images will appear in Oliver Peoples’ stores, on merchandising materials and on the brand’s website, with a coordinating short film launched at a celebratory event hosted by the brand in Paris on Oct. 4 during Silmo.

Schulte summarized the efforts saying, “As we move forward, we are driven by an ideal of an ‘unfinished journey.’ We think if we have this mindset, we will never rest on past successes and instead keep striving to improve and be better. We are very clear on the brand experience we want our consumer to have and now our primary goal as we move forward is to make sure this happens in every point of sale we’re in around the world,” he said.