25 February 2013

Warby Parker

I lost my glasses.    

There is cosmic permission, for I’m sixty-two.  No worry about Alzheimer's, only my driving. 

I stopped by the optometrist's office that same day.

While cheaper than a Google Car,  I wasn’t happy with the bill.  Of course, my prescription had expired – so an eye exam.  New glasses were almost $350.  On autopilot (perhaps because I couldn’t see very well), I simply did the routine.

imageTwo-and-a-half years ago when last there, my more-significant-than-I-am other insisted on accompanying me.  I would pick out goofy-looking big plastic frames, she would make sure I got new, groovy ones: small, thin, rectangular, metal.  I checked around, checked the stars on all the TV shows, and had to admit that the grooviest of the groovy were wearing those.

imageThis time I grabbed a similar frame, a bit bigger and slightly rounded, so I would get in trouble but not too much trouble.

imageA few days later, just out of curiosity, I searched for a hip eyewear outfit I’d heard about: Warby Parker.  It was quite a shock.  Now my favorite kinds of glasses, goofy-looking big plastic ones, are the grooviest of the groovies.  I was groovy before they were, but wasn’t allowed to be.

With my new thin, metal, slightly rounded glasses, I’m hopelessly old-fashioned – until I lose them, which might be soon since I have cosmic permission: I’m sixty-two.

Warby Parker is a welcomed phenomenon.  While not in their target group, I appreciate the business model, the copywriting on the site (A modern update of an old stalwart, the Percey is a trimmer, subtler take on the glasses worn by Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mockingbird"), the Monty Python-esque TV spot:


Apparently, WP is taking on the big guys.  And advising some big folks.  And doing good deeds.

Baby Boomers and older would eat this stuff up, along with appreciating the styles and prices.

Don’t write them off.