LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the heels of a 20 million dollar investment from The Untitled Group, Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO), a Los Angeles-based eyewear lifestyle brand, announces a new President hire to lead the next stage global expansion. Barney Waters joins GLCO from K-Swiss, the American heritage sneaker brand, where he has served as the brand's President since 2016. During his tenure, K-Swiss went from multimillion dollar annual losses to profitability, with renewed energy and relevance in the market. Waters’ career began in his native UK at the software company Lotus, where he honed his marketing skills over an 11-year period with the brand. He transitioned into the sneaker industry at Puma as their VP of Marketing for 7 years, and later landing at the K-Swiss acquired French, heritage boot brand, Palladium that Waters’ ultimately led from $15M in global sales to $110M in under 5 years.
Waters’ main focus at GLCO will be leading the executive team on efficiency, operations and systems, however his marketing background will prove highly valuable for the brand as it looks to build out different segments of the lifestyle – from sustainability initiatives and partnerships to the addition of some limited drop ancillary products. The company has grown dynamically since its inception just over a decade ago and has ambitious goals for the future, including 20% top line growth year over year doubling volume over the next five years.
“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,” says Founder, Garrett Leight. “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.”
Waters’ unique combination of passion and experience in youth culture, fashion and business makes him a great fit for GLCO. “I’m honored to join the amazing brand that Garrett and his team have built over the past 10 years,” says 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.” Currently Waters’ resides in Thousand Oaks, CA with his wife and two high school kids.
About Garrett Leight California Optical:
Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO), an eyewear lifestyle brand founded in Venice Beach in 2010, brings a fresh perspective to classically tailored eyewear by blending old and new, the iconic and the innovative. The optical and sunglass collections are handcrafted of the finest quality material with a focus on fit and comfort. In just over ten years, Garrett Leight has gained a loyal following of tastemakers globally, including some of the most recognizable faces in the entertainment and fashion industries. The company has six flagship stores including two Los Angeles locations (La Brea and Venice), San Francisco (Hayes), Austin (South Congress), New York (Grand), and Toronto (Queen West) and is distributed in over 25 countries on six continents. The Garrett Leight California Optical collection is available at the most exclusive optical shops, department stores, and leading fashion boutiques globally. For more information and to view select styles visit www.garrettleight.com.