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Garrett Leight California Optical names new president

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: courtesy of Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO); Barney Waters with Garrett Leight

Los Angeles-based eyewear lifestyle brand Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO) has named Barney Waters as its new president to lead the next stage of the company’s global expansion.

Waters joins GLCO from the American sneaker brand K-Swiss, where he has served as the brand’s president since 2016. He was also previously vice president of marketing at Puma and work for heritage boot brand, Palladium.

Commenting on the appointment, GLCO founder Garrett Leight, said in a statement: “I’m thrilled to bring in a footwear industry legend who understands that marketing, PR and design are the bloodline of what makes our brand special and simultaneously knows what it takes for us meet our business goals.

“His experience at larger companies will help us achieve our targets and the potential we believe GLCO has, not only in optical but beyond. Having Barney on the team will allow me the opportunity to get back to focusing on the creative parts of the business that I most enjoy.”

As president, Waters’ main focus will be to lead the executive team on efficiency, operations and systems, said the brand, however, his marketing background will “prove highly valuable” as the brand looks to build out different segments of the lifestyle, from sustainability initiatives and partnerships to the addition of some limited drop ancillary products.

“I’m honoured to join the amazing brand that Garrett and his team have built over the past 10 years,” said Waters. “I look forward to translating my experiences from the footwear market into this unique product category and help amplify the brand as we aim for global growth.”

Waters appointment follows GLCO receiving a 20 million dollar investment from The Untitled Group in June to drive global direct to consumer growth.

GLCO has grown dynamically since its inception just over a decade ago and has ambitious goals for the future, including 20 percent top-line growth year-over-year doubling volume over the next five years.

Barney Waters
Garrett Leight California Optical