A clutch of bespectacled Angelenos joined luxury eyewear brand Oliver Peoples on Thursday to fete the launch of the Assouline tome “California as We See It.” Cohosted by photographer and Los Angeles style arbiter Lisa Eisner, who penned the book’s foreword, the party drew Shaun Ross, Levi Dylan, William Peltz, Stormi Henley, Markus Molinari, Brad Elterman, Lorenza Izzo, Ivan Olita and Tasya van Ree, along with Oliver Peoples chief executive officer Rocco Basilico and creative director Giampiero Tagliaferri.
“Do you remember their first shop?” asked Eisner of the Sunset Plaza store a few blocks down the street. “It was right in the middle of all this history — George Hurrell’s studio, Billy Haines’ showroom, Adrian’s shop. Then there were all the rock clubs like The Whiskey a Go Go and The Roxy.” She also pointed out the pioneering retailer Charles Gallay — the first boutique in the U.S. to carry Azzedine Alaïa — and the location used for the apartment of Richard Gere’s character in “American Gigolo.”
“That’s sort of the area in which we played, and when I bought my first pair of Oliver Peoples in the Eighties, we were like this clique,” she said. Eisner has also photographed several campaigns for the brand over the years, and these, along with iconic images of the city and other famous faces wearing the eyewear on- and off-screen, fill the book’s pages.
As Tagliaferri explained, “We divided the book into three parts: ‘Our Peoples,’ ‘Facing West” and ‘Never a Trend, Always a Style.’ There are connections between each frame and the Los Angeles architecture pictured in the book, and even the colors of the Rome boutique, which Tagliaferri designed, are taken from the landmark Hunt House designed by Craig Ellwood in Malibu.
In honor of the book’s release, Assouline and Oliver Peoples designed a limited-edition octagonal optical style with a clip-on sun lens and bright red custom case. The brand also pledged a 50 percent donation from sales of the book to the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund.