Warby Parker sells premium prescription glasses for men and women, offering their products at reasonable prices through a direct-to-consumer model. Founded on a rebellious spirit, the owners set out to produce affordable designer eyewear by cutting the middleman out of their process.
The founders of Warby Parker, Neil Blumenthal, Dave Gilboa, Andy Hunt, and Jeff Raider, were inspired by the American novelist Jack Kerouac. They took on the adventurous spirit contained within Kerouac’s on the Road, based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across the United States.
Blumenthal, Gilboa, Hunt, and Raider envisioned a company that could take the path less travelled, part of a generation of people the novel inspired. They would go on to name the company after two of Kerouac’s famous characters, which began with one of the founders on a backpacking trip during his undergrad.
While on this adventure, the founder lost his glasses on the trip. He ended up spending months squinting at his textbooks in college, having discovered how expensive it would be to replace the glasses. He and his friends, who would one day become founders, recognized that a monopoly existed in the eyewear industry, which is why the costs were so high.
Warby Parker was born out of the desire to create an accessible alternative. The founders’ previous work with non-profit organizations influenced their charitable business practices. Part of their socially conscious business model is their “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program, helping to alleviate impaired vision around the world by providing people with free access to eyewear.
By 2018, Warby Parker was distributing free glasses to 33 countries. They’ve estimated that by 2021, the earning potential for low-income families can surpass $1 billion.
Neil Blumenthal was a former director for VisionSpring, a non-profit social enterprise that trains people to start their own businesses selling affordable eyewear to people in developing countries. VisionSpring has been Warby Parker’s primary partner since the beginning.
While every Warby Parker frame is designed in-house, their custom-designed cellulose acetate comes from a family-run factory in Italy. This makes the Warby Parker Italian-style Nesso series all the more credible. Other Warby Parker suppliers and manufacturers are located in countries such as the US, Canada, China, and Japan.
Before you order a pair of Warby Parker frames, you’ll first need a valid eyeglasses prescription and a report on pupillary distance (PD), which measures the distance between your pupils. This is used to help center your prescription correctly in your frames.
In case you don’t have a PD with your prescription, there are online tools available to help you measure the distance between your pupils. Then you can write down the results on your prescription, scan and submit it to Warby Parker by email. The Warby Parker app called “Prescription Check,” allows customers to renew their prescriptions from their laptops and iPhones.
The Percey Striped Sassafras mimic the aesthetics of the wild, vibrant Sassafras (trees) found in Ontario and several US states. Using hand-polished cellulose acetate, these bookish classics are built with round lenses and an attractive keyhole bridge. Available in either extra narrow, narrow, medium, or wide, the Percey is offered in ten different styles and are designed to fit everyone.
Maybe you’re looking for more of a square design with a subtle keyhole bridge? The Felix models are another versatile and stylish staff pick available in medium width. The Felix Pacific Crystal is an elegant-looking pair of glasses that look great on a wide range of faces. Its shiny-grey exterior matches well with virtually any outfit.
Also made from hand-polished cellulose acetate, there are two other styles to choose from, Sandalwood Matte and Whiskey Tortoise.
Instead of listing more of the fabulous standard designs, we thought that for this Warby Parker glasses review you should be aware of their next level eyeglasses. Named after the Italian word for “link,” the Nesso Series is an assortment of Italian-made designs that take the idea of luxury and make it attainable at a reasonable price.
Designed with Indigo crystal and polished gold, the Nesso Series’ Lovell is one of five different designs for men. If you’re not into the indigo look, however, you should know that the Lovell is also offered in a root beer style with polished gold.
Starting at $195, you can pick from five different designs: Garland, Whittier, Lovell, Harriet, and Florie. Created with lustrous detail, the front and back of the metal face are concealed by the smooth acetate. Each lens is also wrapped at the top and bottom with a metal ring.
Some great news in this Warby Parker glasses review: every pair you order comes with prescription lenses. You also get your very own Warby Parker frames case and lens cloth to keep them safe. It’s worth noting that Warby Parker glasses come with anti-reflective, scratch-resistant lenses, designed to block out UV rays.
Options for lens types include:
It’s like the frames and lenses are made with the passion and care only a small business could produce. The number of designs and styles available, combined with flexible spending programs, and a proven commitment to helping people with vision impairment around the world, this is the company to do business with.
Their customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Many customers are repeat clients who have been “converted” and have brought their family and friends to Warby Parker. Considering how Warby Parker takes great pride in customer service, you likely won’t be disappointed.