The authentic, chance-taking actor Jared Leto represents iconic brand Carrera that’s been reimagined with the Maverick collection for its 60th anniversary.
He is known for taking on challenging roles such as a transgendered woman in Dallas Buyers Club (for which he won an Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for best supporting actor) and the singer/songerwriter/musician for his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars. It’s no surprise that Safilo approached Jared Leto to be the face of its 2016 Carrera Maverick campaign; he also chose the winners and directed the video for the #Outthere competition that shines a light on creative individuals.
The new Maverick collection offers three ophthalmics and six suns in lightweight, laser-cut stainless steel with matte finishes for an edgy look that’s steeped in heritage. Leto spoke with the Carrera team about his history with the brand and why it’s up to others to determine if he’s a maverick.
When did you first learn about the Carrera brand?
JARED LETO: I learned about Carrera when I was a teenager. My brother and I used to have a pair of Carrera sunglasses that we would share. They were foldable Porsche Carreras that came in the little pouch, and so my memories of the brand go pretty far back to a special time in my life. I like some of the throwback Carrera glasses from the ’80s. I actually have a couple pair of those that they were nice enough to dig out of the Carrera museum for me, and I get to wear them now.
You are admired for inspirational quotes. Is there something you can share with the Maverick community and fans of the Carrera brand?
LETO: When I think of Carrera I think of a brand that’s stood the test of time and a brand that has survived many generations now. And I think there’s a lot to learn from that about perseverance, about consistency, about credibility, about how to design great products.
How did you come to collaborate with Carrera eyewear?
LETO: Living in California, sunglasses are a part of my everyday life. And having an emotional connection to a brand, having some nostalgia, some memory there, gives me a deeper affinity. It was appealing to me because I think the product’s great. I think it’s a classic brand, and I look at it [as]a real privilege to be a part of this company’s long history.
What do you like most about the styling and brand?
LETO: Carrera has always been a bit different. They’ve always had a strong identity. They have a classic look and have always survived the test of time. You can only do that when you have a product that works and a design that is forward thinking.
The 2016 campaign calls on all Mavericks. Do you consider yourself a maverick?
LETO: I think it’s for other people to decide if you’re a maverick or not. I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum. And certainly I follow my instinct and my dreams, but I know that mavericks have been a big inspiration to me throughout my life, people who take chances, who do things differently.
How would you say being a maverick applies to your acting and musical career?
LETO: With acting and with music, I’ve always tried to do something that hasn’t been done before, to create something honest and authentic.
How was your experience shooting the Carrera Maverick campaign?
LETO: It was a joy to work with everyone. I think everyone had a shared goal of capturing a spirit of a special time in life, and it was a real gift to be invited to be a part of the campaign. We [also]made a recruitment video that’s a call to arms to mavericks out there. The video is a compilation of the series of people who have been chosen because of their art, their work, their lives.
We often see you on the red carpet wearing sunglasses. How do you think this adds to the look?
LETO: Oftentimes when you’re going to events in L.A. you actually need a pair of sunglasses. You can barely see. It’s a classic look from David Bowie to Mick Jagger to Bono. Sunglasses have been a part of people’s personal style or fashion for quite some time now. I think it’s a way to express yourself, express your individuality.