Homecoming parade: Eyeglass label Warby Parker comes full circle with a new Walnut Street store.
WARBY PA ER RETURNS TO THE CITY WHERE THE EYEWEAR BRAND BEGAN— WITH A FEW SURPRISES.
The retail world knows Warby Parker for its stylish, affordable glasses. The charity world recognizes the label for its impactful Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. In the Phillysphere, the talk is always about how a couple of Wharton guys turned an idea born in a computer lab into a bonafide brand with 50 stores stretching from Canada to Miami. Seven years later, Warby Parker marked a full-circle moment this spring by opening a Walnut Street boutique steps from where cofounder and CO-CEO Dave Gilboa lived during the early days. “Philadelphia was the birthplace of the company, so it gives us the warm fuzzies to be back in town,” says Gilboa.
PHILLY IN FOCUS
Summer 2017 looks hit shelves in April (hello, rose-gold frames!) and mark Warby’s 91st line. The signature Roosevelt Collection, named for the old Roosevelt Pub where the founders used to hang out, comes in three limited-edition hues only available at the Walnut Street store.
DESIGN OF THE TIMES
Sure, you’re shopping for glasses, but the store’s gorgeous library-inspired design invites lingering with its arched ceilings and leather seating. Eye exam appointments are posted on departure boards modeled after the ones at 30th Street Station.
Warby’s Buy a Pair, Give a Pair has donated more than 2 million pairs of glasses to people in need. And the program has grown to include training those in poor countries to perform eye exams and then sell glasses through nonprofit partners. 1523 Walnut St., 215-845-0987; warbyparker.com
“PHILADELPHIA WAS THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE COMPANY.” — DAVE GILBOA
Inside the Walnut Street store, Warby Parker’s neat rows of shelves are modeled after one of their favorite places: the library.
Eye spy: Warby Parker’s classic frames in cool colors include the Welty eyeglasses in Eastern Bluebird Fade (ABOVE; $95) and Roland eyeglasses in Espresso Tortoise (BELOW; $95). RIGHT: Matte frames, like the Moore eyeglasses in sandalwood matte ($95), are one of the biggest trends in eyewear in 2017.