Warby Parker, America’s premier eye and sunglass design and sale house, has recently launched their Fall 2014 collection of eyewear for women and men. Made from titanium and acetate, and for both men and women, this new collection is fun, fearless, and definitely trend-setting!
I love this company’s design, culture, history, and give-back philosophies. The more I learned about them, the more intrigued and entranced I was. Here was a set of four young men, in university, low on dosh, and losing their glasses when out on adventures. They still needed eyewear for lectures (and let’s face it, unique eyewear has a cool factor hard to ignore, especially with the university ladies), yet were faced with only the high priced options few consumers could easily afford. So, necessity and invention marrying as they usually do, off they went and founded a company that fused design and affordability principles by eschewing traditional channels, designing in-house, and engaging with customers directly.
Warby Parker’s designers source trends and inspiration from around the globe and the entire design process, from initial sketch and prototype testing to final design, is done in-house. Not one to rest on their laurels, the company constantly strives for innovation like their triple-gradient lenses, which are impact-resistant, UV 400 protected, and include super hydrophobic anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings. The acetate used in their frames is sourced from a single-family Italian producer and the best Japanese titanium is brought into the mix, too.
If that weren’t enough, the company’s founders recognised a strong need for eyeglasses around the world, the lack of which impacts people’s ability to learn and earn livelihoods. Currently, 703 million people live without access to eyewear but Warby Parker has partnered with non-profit organisations to train men and women in developing countries to give basic eye exams and sell glasses to their communities at affordable prices. Called “buy a pair, give a pair”, this initiative has enabled one million pairs of eye glasses to be distributed to needy communities worldwide.
So. Feeling good about this company yet? How about their uber cool designer-fitout shops which include photo booths and books to read? What if we told you they offer a free try-at-home service, sending 5 pairs of frames of your choice for you to model and get feedback on? Warby Parker is also carbon-neutral and a B Corporation (a company that has been independently evaluated by B Lab (a pioneering non-profit) and found to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency).
Parker Warby consistently push design boundaries and their Fall 2014 collection is no exception. Targeted to those who own their style, exercise their wit and add life to the party (check out the video they made to see what I mean XXX), they believe that personality is what makes a good pair of glasses great and strive to allow trend-setting people a chance to allow their personality to shine. They even have a monocle for sale!
My personal favourites are the Nash and Crane Ti for the men, although Wilkie and Mitchell are hard to beat. For the ladies, there is Oliver, Eli, Walker, and many more.