Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Trends & Finds

Warby Parker: From Clicks to Bricks

I’ve always wanted glasses but never needed them – until now.

The realisation that you’re “getting on” is a tough one to grasp, so even though I have always been a fan of the trendy spec, it was with mixed emotions that I recently entered the “four eyes” market place. 

The solution to finding affordably, simple and cool eyewear, I have discovered, is Warby Parker – a glasses retailer who made my lens transformation into a positive and memorable experience.

The Warby Parker retail concept is killer and based on a simple philosophy: don’t make your clients pay extortionate prices for something that often costs cents to make.  Top eyewear brands can charge up to $1000 for frames and it’s clear the customer is paying for the brand name / supporting their retail model.  Warby Parker have set out to challenge this with their online focused, non-branded model of cool, simple eye wear.

When the brand launched online a few years ago, they had over 20000 customers on backorder for their glasses – and that’s with no advertising.  Now days, they’ve matured and ventured into bricks and mortar retail, with stores in NYC, Boston and LA.

Being very familiar now with their online presence, my visit to their Soho NYC store was not a disappointment.  The store is grand, elegantly decorated, with a mid-century feel.  Book lined laddered shelves against the walls, an old-fashioned medical eye examination facility complete with digital retro appointment board for customers complete the fit out.

Unfortunately they don’t ship overseas (yet) so if you’re in NYC and are in the market for a new pair of specs or sunnies, I highly recommend popping into Warby Parker. 


Anthony Spon-Smith

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