When I was younger, I really wanted a North Face. Sure, it was comfortable. Sure, it looked nice. Sure, it had that nice brand-name logo. And sure, it had a hefty price. Name-brand items like North Face are definitely high quality, but should only be sold at half or quarter of the price.With eyewear, name-brands dominate the market. As some of you may or may not know, a majority of large eyewear brands – Ray Bands, Oakley, Versace to name a few – are all owned by one company: Luxottica. In fact, they own many large eyewear stores and even prescription companies. (60-Minutes documentary)
Many glasses and sunglasses connoisseurs cried over high prices, but a company known as Warby Parker came alone. Founded by four business students at Wharton School of Business, the students found an opportunity: offer great sunglasses at an affordable cost with great quality.
Thus, Warby Parker was born. Starting as an online sunglasses store, the founders settled on a promising $95 for their glasses starting price. It was high enough for customers to know their sunglasses were high quality while not being too high that the average middle class could not afford it. The company has now grown to exceed $1.2 billion dollars. (For the full story, listen here)
Today, there is a wide variety of sunglasses. While there are physical locations, their online services are quite friendly. They have a Home-Try On Program where five frames are sent, you try them on, and return what you don’t want to keep. All this with free shipping.
In my opinion, the sunglasses are quite stylish. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, material, and specific designs to fit the contour of your face. (For more info on sunglasses and face shape, check this link).
My personal favorite is the Blake by Warby Parker. It has the light frames that doesn’t give me headaches, a simple black design, and will protect my eyes. (:
While this company is popular, I don’t believe it’s Ray-Bands popular. I like what this company and hopefully it can outgrow the monopoly the Luxottica is today. Sunglasses don’t need to be unfairly expensive, and Warby Parker is doing something right.
Warby Parker (Eye Care Station) / 1123 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610 / (312) 878-2028