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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Warby Parker event at Stel's

Last Thursday I attended the Warby Parker popup showroom at Stel's. When I arrived the store was full of fashion bloggers covering the event, friends and clients of Stel's, and shoppers who just so happened to stumbled upon the party. There were treats and beer provided by the Harpoon Brewery, and many styles of Warby Parker shades to try on while mixing and mingling. Stel's being the leader and go to destination in Boston for the finest designer pieces just recently added Warby Parker to their list of great finds. I had the opportunity to sit down for an interview with the co-founder Neil Blumenthal in the midst of the craziness.

Neil received his BA from Tufts University in Boston and his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Determined to change the eyewear industry, Neil and three Wharton classmates launched Warby Parker in hopes of bringing customer service back to retail. Warby Parker designs and sells vintage-inspired frames and prescription lenses for $95, whereas comparable quality glasses cost $500. For every pair sold, a pair is given to someone in need. Neil had been the Director of VisionSpring, a non-profit social enterprise that trains low-income women to start their own business selling affordable eyeglasses to individuals living on less than $4 per day in South Asia, Africa and Latin America. Warby Parker isn't like your ordinary online retailer. When customers purchase any frame, you're then sent five frames in the mail as a trial. They then take your favorite frame and customize to your liking. Of course we all live for instant gratification but the overall customer experience is what matters most; which is one of the many reasons why Warby Parker continues to do exceptionally well. Fashion matters everywhere, and that's what is always in mind during the design process. For Neil Boston felt like some sort of homecoming, and Stel's was the perfect place for Warby Parker. There are so many awesome designer collaborations in the works, first up will be Suno which will be launching the first week of October. There is a frame for everyone and how could one resist such an amazing deal?