In 1987, Doré Chodorow was a co-founder of Oliver Peoples and President until her retirement in 1999.
Currently living quietly by a lake on the outskirts of Los Angeles, we asked her about how she came to know EYEVAN.
Creating a store that
embraced Japanese manufacturing
My younger brother Dennis (Dennis Leight - One of the founding members of Oliver Peoples.) told us before we opened the Oliver Peoples store, "I see people wearing amazing frames that are so far ahead of everyone else's. The quality is great and most of these frames are coming from Japan". He told us we had to check out Japan to find out more about such great quality. So, we went to the optical trade show and checked out Japanese manufacturing and that is where we discovered EYEVAN. It was to become a beautiful story because they were not yet known around the world as a famous eyewear brand.
When you're an optician you can easily tell the quality of a frame just by holding it in your hand. Good high quality frames are easy to adjust and work with and we saw this in the EYEVAN frames. It was clear to us that this was such a great company we wanted them to manufacture our future products. That's how we started working with EYEVAN and immediately it became a great partnership.
Pride that changed the world's trend
The Oliver Peoples design team was designing and EYEVAN sent design teams to LA to work together with them. The EYEVAN 0505 and 0506 frames became the first two Oliver Peoples designs in our debut collection. We started simply with two designs and five colors.
At that time fabulous frames were being made in France and in Germany. Sadly, in America, there were no longer companies making high quality, handcrafted frames. So quality and craftsmanship were a very big issue for us. From the very beginning to the time I retired, it continued to be an amazing product. We were very proud of the work we did together with EYEVAN because quality was always so important for both of our organizations.
We opened our doors on Sunset Boulevard with those two frames and a large collection of vintage eyewear. We sold vintage-looking glasses that had a kind of John Lennon look. The Oliver Peoples design team purchased an abundance of original vintage frames from the 30s and 40s representing the greatness of frames from the American manufacturing age.
The minute we opened our doors so many celebrities and Hollywood movie industry people came into our store and bought our eyewear. Soon our products were on the cover of every magazine imaginable and in movies which brought even more people to our store. Everyone wanted our products. I think we really changed the direction of the world of eyewear.
- Doré Chodorow
- Doré Chodorow was the first president of the Los Angeles eyewear company, Oliver Peoples in the mid 1980s. Together with Kenny, they were a truly special pair who understood the essence of EYEVAN.