EYEWEAR MOGUL PATTY PERREIRA ON REMAINING TRUE TO HER VISION
To say that Patty Perreira is an expert in her field is an understatement. Following an 18 year tenure with Oliver Peoples and various consulting jobs for the likes of Prada and Helmut Lang, the accessories designer launched her own label in 2007, alongside partner Bill Barton. In the past ten years, Barton Perreira has gained a reputation among the likes of Chloe Sevigny and Michelle Obama for its unique marriage of innovation and quality—a marriage that shouldn’t be hard to find but, in fact, is. A year after the brand’s tenth anniversary, Material sat down with Perreira to discuss everything from her creative process to learning to separate the personal from the business.
So what inspired you to start Barton Perreira?
My desire to be independent. I wanted to remain creative and true to what inspires me. Bill Barton and I shared a vision to create an eyewear label that would represent a new time, quality and culture. Eyewear is our passion and we felt the time was right to join forces and create our own brand.
How has it been working alongside each other? Is it ever hard to separate the personal from the business?
Working alongside Bill is amazing, separating the personal from the business has never been an issue for us. We have a great partnership, as well as mutual respect and admiration for each other. He motivates, challenges and inspires me. Bill and I trust each other’s instincts. We both have many years of experience in the eyewear industry. His expertise is in the business aspect, while I am the creative. This allows each of us to focus and utilize our individual skill sets in ways that are best suited to the success of Barton Perreira. I believe our talents truly complement each other.
Do you have any advice for women starting their own businesses? What challenges did you face when you first started out, and how did you overcome them?
Choose your partners wisely… it’s like a marriage. Be patient and trust the process. Be authentic and true to what inspires you. Remain humble and follow your heart. Confidence has always been my greatest challenge. I am not sure I will ever completely overcome it.
On the ‘About’ tab of BP’s website, you say that you hope to redefine style and elegance through a “language of inspired design”. Can you elaborate a bit more on this?
My relentless devotion and passion to create beautiful refined eyewear is almost an obsession. I pour everything I know and love about design into every piece and let my instinct and intuition tell me when it’s right. No logos to define us, but rather a pure, less-is-more aesthetic .
What is your creative process like? Where do you get inspiration from, and how (if at all) has this process changed as the brand has grown?
My creative process is quite instinctual. It varies from design to design. It can start with a shape, a color, a certain technology or even a mood. I am also a very visual person and I find inspiration in almost everything. This really has not changed since the brand has grown. However, innovations have become so available, which keeps it interesting.
What is your favorite collection of BP that you’ve done, and why?
Wow, this is a tough question. I like them all for different reasons. I really enjoyed designing our Barton Perreira 10th Anniversary Collection. This archive-inspired collection allowed me to revisit some of my favorite designs and technologies as I reimagined them in a completely fresh way. This was quite challenging at times, but also very rewarding. I love to see my designs come to fruition.
Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations you can tell us about?
I cannot reveal too much just yet, but I am currently working on a few eyewear and artist collaborations that will roll out over the next two years. I am very excited for each of them.
You already mentioned your 10th Anniversary, which you celebrated last April. Where do you hope to be in the next 10 years?
I am quite clear on who I am as a designer. With each of my collections, there is a cohesiveness in what I do. The DNA can never change, but it can be influenced. I hope the next ten years brings an evolution of creativity and technology that continues to inspire me and the industry. I am quite optimistic.
With the series Women Who Create, Material Magazine is looking to highlight women from a variety of professions and passions that use their unique talents to carve out a space for themselves and their art in our cultural landscape.