Confession: I used to wear glasses with non-prescription lenses before I needed them for real! I love glasses! Totally just another accessory to have fun with, right? Life is too short to commit to one pair for years on end, but they’re also not the cheapest of accessory – cue party streamers and ticker tape when Warby Parker came on the scene in 2010.
After all our pseudo reading we did at the Library Hotel for our NY Getaway feature, we took a little trip to Warby Parker on Lexington Ave to check out some new frames, or “accessories.” As well as designing really cool eyewear (it’s all done in-house), Warby Parker is affordable (prescription glasses generally run around $95). Better still, Warby Parker is a socially conscious business; for every pair they sell, Warby Parker donates to a non-profit such as VisionSpring – the buy a pair, give a pair program. Consumers get great glasses and great karma, everyone’s a wiener!
While writing this piece, I discovered the name Warby Parker was inspired during an exhibit that one of the four co-founders of the company was attending at the New York City Library. Exactly where we were, before realizing we were running late and hopping in an Uber to go downtown for our Warby Parker shoot! Spooky.
There are four WP stores in Manhattan and more scattered around the US. Each store has its own personality, but they all have style and coolness in common. We wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to do a tour of them all, we do.
The Lexington Avenue store that we visited has a photo booth! Pre-selfie, it’s what our generation did to capture all those funny faces one feels compelled to make when with friends. We chose our background from the rollers behind us then 3, 2, 1 – duck face, smooch face, wink, serious, funny, peace fingers and a good old “cheese.” The booth spits out a printed version and a jpeg can be emailed directly to your inbox, ready to share with the world. #warbybooth Here’s ours!
The sign of a great company is how great the employees are. These guys are like the Apple geniuses of glasses – friendly, smart and really know their eyewear stuff. They’ll help you find the best frame to suit your face, give you an eye exam, fit your glasses to you and may even recommend a perfect reading spot to take your new glasses for a spin!
If you can’t get to a store you can have WP mail you up to 5 pairs of frames free to try on at home (ship them back free too). Go on, you can make all the faces you want in private. And if you’re less than private, go ahead and post some pics on social media with the hashtag #WarbyHomeTryOn and thousands of strangers can help you decide which look best!
Article by Beverley Canepari, photos by Lora Karam.
Thank you to Kyle and the staff at the Lexington Avenue store for your help and the great tour!