Many were enthused when eyewear and sunglass trendsetter Warby Parker opened a second location smack in Green Hills because the company was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective of offering designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses. In fact, the company's executives partner with nonprofits, such as VisionSpring, to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.
Green Hills Lifestyle asked Warby Parker's pice president of product strategy Kim Nemser some candid questions about the selection of Green Hills, as well as eyewear trends, and she revealed the following details.
Why open a second location in Nashville, out of all U.S. places you could've chosen?
Before we ever opened a store in Nashville, we had chosen the city for our second office. We’ve always been drawn to its creative energy—the area’s filled with music, film, art and everything in-between. After opening our office downtown and store in Edgehill Village, we were naturally really excited to expand and get to know another part of town, so we quickly decided to open up a new location.
What trends are occurring this year in children's, youth, men's and women's eyewear, and how does that dovetail into Warby Parker designs?
Children’s + Youth: Pastel pinks and purples, bright blues and crystal tones are favorites amongst our youngest shoppers. We also continue to see our modern take on vintage round shapes working well for kids.
Men’s + Women’s: Round shapes are also a customer favorite for grown-ups. Flat brows, bold tortoises and graphic two-toned acetates are all on-trend and a part of our upcoming collections. This fall, we’re releasing a collection of frames that each feature two contrasting layers of acetate to give them a special two-tone effect. We’re also really excited to start offering some of our best-selling styles in multiple sizes to accommodate more face shapes.
How do overall style and fashion trends impact eyewear development and looks?
We draw on inspiration from a variety of sources such as art, music, film and fashion. For example, the bold earring trend has been a nice complement to our more classic metal frames. The flat brow trend in optical has been inspired by the bold eyebrow trend in makeup. From a color perspective, we are seeing soft autumnal hues going down the runway and are complementing those with new tortoise acetates—pale yellows and bolder shades of green. In addition, we love color blocking and the interplay of pastels or crystals against a bold tortoise or saturated color.
We also value customer feedback, so we iterate and update best-selling styles by bringing them back in new colorways and sizes, or with new hardware. Our Super Concentric and Sesia Collection are perfect examples of elaborating on an innovative but wearable construction.
What's the must-have eyewear for 2020?
We’re excited about bold acetates that really make a statement and complementing that with subtle hardware. The 1970s are having a moment: think oversized, rectangular shapes in both metal and thin acetate that evoke a sense of fashion and fun. (Stay tuned for something exciting from us that speaks to this!) As for color, deep burgundy, forest green, soft amber tortoises and milky pastels will be in our color palette. Modern takes on vintage round shapes will also continue to be a trend. They’re both cool and wearable.
We also look to our customers to provide input on what they want, and our design team then experiments with mixed materials and techniques to create one-of-a-kind frames each season.
What are the most popular accessories for eyewear customers?
Our Parker Case is a huge hit with customers. It’s a comfy, foldable home for your frames with all the right angles—and we’re always offering it in fresh colors and patterns. The Parker Pouch is also a perfect accessory. It fits two pairs of frames and is super easy to pack.
Warby Parker provides the following additional services:
Comprehensive eye exams: Appointments can be booked online at WarbyParker.com/Exams.
Virtual try-on tool: Within the Warby Parker iOS app, it helps potential customers "try on" pairs before putting any glasses on their faces.
Insurance: In network with UnitedHealthcare and Spectra, eligible members may be able to get a new pair of glasses for just their copay fee. They accept other forms of insurance, FSA and HSA too.
Prescription check: They use a telehealth service that allows an eye doctor to assess how eligible customers are seeing through their glasses and provide an updated glasses prescription.