There have been a few exciting store openings in San Francisco recently (and one that we’re all waiting on…), one of which is the new Garret Leight shop in Hayes Valley. The LA-based eyewear brand launched only five years ago, but has attracted a strong following in that time. You can read my in-depth article on GLCO here, but the short version is that I’m a fan of their classic styles, elegant designs, and beautiful acetates.
GLCO’s core collection of frames definitely has a vintage feel to them, but the brand as a whole injects a bit of SoCal whimsy into everything they put out. The frames are produced in China – something that the company owns proudly – and are made out of some magnificent materials sourced from all over the world. They are not inexpensive, but they are definitely attractive and well-made (and they’re generally less expensive than the typical Luxottica brands, the most similar of which was founded by Garrett’s father). If you want a real-life comparison between GLCO and lower tier frames, stop by the Warby Parker showroom first, which is just a door or two down from GLCO (I do endorse Warby Parker too, but for a different set of reasons).
The new storefront has the full collection of GLCO frames, which is a refreshing change from the botiques that only carry a handful of styles. The company’s custom program – or Modshop – is also accessible through the new store; you can choose from an assortment of unique frame finishes and lenses if you’re looking for something very specific. For instance, any of the frames can be given a matte finish – they can send them to a professional to be matte-ed for $40, whether you purchased a pair that day or years earlier.
Hayes Valley does seem to be the new shopping center of San Francisco, and the new GLCO door adds another sweet brand to the roster. Next time you’re grabbing a cocktail at Absinthe or an ice cream at Smitten, pop across the street and say hi to the Garrett Leight team for me.