It’s been a rewarding and enjoyable 20 years or so working with Bill Barton and Patty Perreira. As well as supplying their range to many top London stores, such as Liberty, Harvey Nichols and Mr Porter, we have an extensive selection in our Dover Street Market outlet.
The story of Barton Perreira began when prestigious eyewear brand Oliver Peoples was taken over. At the time, Bill Barton was Oliver Peoples’ president and Patty Perreira its chief designer. Not wanting to get caught up in corporate shenanigans, the pair decided to use their skills and experience in the glasses business to set up on their own and form the company that bears their names.
Patty has been quoted as saying that much of her inspiration comes from pop culture, the beat movement. But there is much more to Barton Perreira eyewear than that. Much of the range evokes the Hollywood of the late 1930s and 1940s. Not so much the dramas, melodramas and crime films that proliferated, more the easy, everyday elegance of Cary Grant. Or, for that matter, any Coen brothers film set in that period – Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy.
And speaking of Hollywood, it hasn’t done the brand any harm at all to have such customers as Angelina Jolie, Heidi Klum, Jessica Biel and Orlando Bloom, as well as collaborations with Chlöe Sevigny. In the movie business, an industry naturally obsessed with how everything looks, every single component of a film star’s outfits must be considered, so it is a great compliment to Barton Perreira that so many of these people, these icons, have chosen to endorse the brand. Actor Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar, A Million Ways To Die In The West) went one better and collaborated with Patty to produce two new designs – the brilliantly-named Giovanni and the Ribisi.
The high end of the eyewear market is pretty crowded. In fact, the whole fashion world is full of innovators, great stylists and designers, all of whom are worthy of attention, so it is only nuances that distinguish them from each other. This is where Barton Perreira has succeeded, with subtlety in their designs that many other brands just can’t quite achieve. Add to this the fact that all of their pieces are hand-made in Japan by artisans using high-quality materials and it is easy to see why Barton Perreira are preferred to their competitors.
At Glasseswebb, we love being associated with this brand, can’t wait to see the latest collection and bask in the reflected glory of the admiration shown by visitors to our little part of Dover Street Market. Maybe there is one small drawback for Barton Perreira; that, having reached the top, there is a constant pressure to stay there, to keep moving forward, to stay ahead having worked so hard to get there. But this won’t be a problem, we are sure. The designs seem so natural, never imitative of any others, that you just know that there’s plenty more where that came from.