Los Angeles-based eyewear lifestyle brand Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO) has announced a strategic investment from The Untitled Group to drive global direct to consumer growth.
The Untitled Group has invested 20 million US dollars into GLCO in exchange for a majority share of the company, explained the eyewear brand while adding that founder Garrett Leight will continue to hold a “significant stake”.
As part of the partnership with Untitled, founder Garrett Leight will remain a key executive, focusing on enhancing all aspects of the consumer experience including collection development, store design, partnerships, sustainability and earth-conscious initiatives, and a growing lifestyle segment.
The Untitled Group is an investment platform that specialises in emerging consumer brands. Its partnership will see it bringing primary capital investment, operating guidance and real estate expertise to GLCO’s ten years of family-owned success to provide “the ideal platform for global expansion”.
Commenting on the investment, Leight said in a statement: “My path forward has never been clearer. I knew that I needed a strategic partner to help GLCO achieve our growth potential and I’m genuinely excited to have found that in Untitled.
“This investment will allow us to realise so many of the larger goals I’ve had for the brand, and I am both confident about and inspired by what the future looks like for GLCO.”
The Untitled Group becomes majority shareholder in Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO)
The investment will also help the company add key hires across multiple departments, including the a president, a new role for the brand and the formation of a Board of Directors by the existing key stakeholders.
Joining GLCO in an advisory capacity will be fashion industry veteran and longtime friend of Leight, Josh Peskowitz, who joined the Untitled team as a consultant in 2020. Peskowitz will bring his decades of multifaceted industry experience to help guide the company’s growth.
Adam Freed, co-founding partner of The Untitled Group, said: “GLCO excels through its robust network of distribution relationships worldwide, and we are eager to help expand the brand’s presence in direct-to-consumer. Garrett’s track record in eyewear design is unmatched and has tremendous resonance with customers globally. We are excited to build on this legacy and invest in the tools and resources that have earned the brand its industry-leading reputation.”
GLCO targets retail openings both in the US and abroad following partnership with The Untitled Group
GLCO was founded in Venice Beach in 2010 to offer a fresh perspective to classically tailored eyewear by blending old and new with innovation to produce optical and sunglass collections.
The company has six proprietary stores, including two Los Angeles locations (La Brea and Venice), San Francisco (Hayes), Austin (South Congress), New York (Grand), and its first international location in Toronto, which opened earlier this year. It is also distributed in more than 25 countries on six continents in high-end speciality retail and optical boutiques.
With the investment from Untitled, GLCO is looking to open multiple boutiques in both the US and abroad, with a new location in Brooklyn, New York and the Silverlake area of Los Angeles to debut in late 2021. The goal is to open 10-15 new locations over the next five years, added GLCO.
Untitled’s co-founding partner Josh Rowan, added: “We firmly believe GLCO is one of the strongest names in eyewear globally and are committed to building on the strong foundation Garrett has forged over the past decade, rooted in a long lineage of best-in-class eyewear expertise and design.”
The Untitled Group, led by Rowan and Freed, is a New York-based strategic investor and long-term partner for the “next-generation of aspirational consumer brands”. Untitled makes strategic investments in brands across fashion and apparel, beauty and wellness and digitally oriented retail concepts.