Warby Parker Flagship, New York
121 Greene St New York, NY 10012 United States
We are often asked in our global trendtalks about the future of retail and the High Street, given the massive threat of online.
But the truth is that everyone needs retail, even online brands themselves.
Just witness Warby Parker; the ethical, value, hipster optical brand which started online in 2010, but is now pioneering a truly on trend multichannel approach.
Just three years later, they have just opened a glorious new flagship in SoHo which has to rate as one of the most charming stores we’ve ever seen.
Technology is built into the fabric of the concept – staff run POS software from tablets and customers can have a photos of themselves printed with sample frames
The 18ft shelves and airy space reference the wonderful tactile world of the library, and the books are for sale, curated from small and specialist local publishing houses. This partnering with like minded businesses is at the heart of the new retail landscape
The appointments for the $50 eye exams are displayed on a retro railway style board, and every element of the original design detailing is preserved and enhanced, with rosewood paneling, modernist furniture and curated art and books.
Technology is built into the fabric of the concept – staff run POS software from tablets and customers can have a photos of themselves printed with sample frames – all with nice instagram style filters!
This is all great brand building, but what is really important about Warby Parker is their ethical and value business model.
Frames retail at around $95 and they operate a Buy One Give One strategy so that for every pair you buy, Warby Parker will donate a set to Vision Spring; a charity which helps the poor in developing countries to get affordable glasses.
Ethical entrepreneurialism in action.
But our favourite thing about Warby Parker is their travelling Class Trip; a quirky travelling roadshow in a vintage yellow bus which is bringing the brand to cities across the US.
So achingly on trend and so seductive. Gotta get me a pair.