The Rise and Rise of Oliver Peoples

Established in 1987, Oliver Peoples has grown into one of the most popular luxury eyewear brands in the United States. But how did the brand grow into an internationally recognizable name, competing with heavyweights such as Ray Ban, Chanel and Oakley in the eyewear market?

The brand got off to a strong start in their first year, opening their first boutique in West Hollywood, California in 1987, and appearing on the cover of German Vogue the same year. But the brand really took off during the 1990s, appearing on the faces of numerous US celebrities, particularly on the big screen. In 1997 Bruce Willis sported a pair of the O’Malley style sunglasses in The Jackal, and Brad Pitt wore three different variants of the 523s in 1999s Fight Club. The brand were also referenced repeatedly in the 2000 cult film American Psycho, and have since featured in shows such as Burn Notice, Entourage and Damages, and were even seen on the face of then-US President Barack Obama as he returned from vacation.

It’s not just on the big and small screen that Oliver Peoples sunglasses have made an appearance however. The brand has been heavily featured by internationally renowned fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, GQ, Esquire and Vanity Fair, and as a result they’re regularly seen on the faces of celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise.

In 2006, the brand was bought by Oakley for $46.7 million, and since then have become part of the eyewear giant Luxottica. Since then a series of influential and highly creative campaigns featuring collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, designers and fashion houses have seen Oliver Peoples take their place as one of the most culturally significant and influential American eyewear brands.

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