Jan 12, 2014

First Look: Warby Parker's Palm Canyon Collection

Ever balked at the astronomical prices when shopping for a new pair of glasses?

Well, here's something you might not know: the reason why glasses go for hundreds of dollars a pop is because the eyewear industry (as with many other industries who artificially control prices), is controlled by a major monopoly. Luxxotica controls 80% of the world's major eyewear brands, making it the world's largest eyewear company. 

Enter: Warby Parker

Founded by four classmates at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania who faced the same frustrations, the four set out to solve that by founding Warby Parker, an online eyewear retailer that cuts out the middlemen, to sell glasses for an affordable $95.

Plus, free shipping, free returns, and a service that lets you test run 5 pairs of glasses for 5 days, for free!

From Alexandra Robbins proclaiming that "The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth" to the increase of young tech entrepreneurs in the mainstream consciousness, it's clear — Geek is chic. 

Warby Parker capitalises on that with vintage-inspired frames that look like they hark from a different era of gentlemen, and with names like Fitz and Wiloughby that conjure up thoughts of a WASP-y Princeton-going young man. Even the name "Warby Parker" comes from characters in Jack Kerouac's writing. Translated to this era, the brand seems to be like Tom Ford for the Milennial hipster.

This month, with the limited edition Palm Canyon Collection, Warby Parker reinvents some of their biggest hits —Winston, Duckworth, Preston, and Wheeler—in a Palm Springs palette of mesquite, acacia, ironwood, and sand.

Each frame features a hand-mixed acetate inset at the end piece, with patterns inspired by Color Field painters and midcentury minimalists.

Each piece is uniquely yours—each pair is distinguished by a unique contrast detail created by melding sheets of woodwork-inspired acetate and tortoise acetate together, and using a technique that took over a year to perfect.

Gain extra karma points too: For every pair bought (with all collections), one will be distributed to a visually-impaired, needy person through one of their non-profit partners.

Palm Canyon Collection frames are available for $145 online at warbyparker.com and at Warby Parker stores and showrooms.

Photo Credits: Siteinspire.com, Warby Parker

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