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.

Philadelphia Style - - Contents - BY KRISTIN DET­TER­LINE

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.

VI­SION-ARY MIS­SION

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.

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