It’s official: Warby Parker is no longer a start-up.
The eyewear brand officially opened its brick-and-mortar doors at 3225 M St. NW on Saturday, Sept. 26. The company was founded in 2010 as an online outlet for vintage-inspired (read: hipster) eyeglasses and sunglasses but has expanded its presence in major cities with stores in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in recent years.
The company’s new Georgetown location (which a representative for the company said they “couldn’t be more excited about”) looks like any other glasses store from the outside with rows of frames and plenty of mirrors, but the inside shows a keen attention to design and detail. For example, the books that sit atop the glasses cases are coordinated by size, color and font, and charming wallpaper near the back depicts a cartoon man in glasses doing an array of made-up yoga poses including the “Moderate Beyonce.” (The cartoons were drawn by an in-house designer, and some books, from Warby Parker’s “favorite independent publishers” are on sale at the store.)
The new store offers Warby Parker’s full collection to try on, same-day purchases for non-prescription glasses, progressive lenses, frame adjustments and optical measurements, though no on-site eye exams. (Warby Parker’s store in Shaw, set to open later this year, will offer eye exams.)
The company was founded in 2010 with a business model based on undercutting designer brands’ prices by designing and selling frames under one roof. At first, sales were online only, with Warby Parker giving customers the ability “Home Try-On” by shipping them up to five pairs of glasses to test out before buying one. Sunglasses and eyeglasses, even with prescriptions, start at $95 at Warby Parker and for each pair purchased, the company buys a pair of glasses for someone in need through partnerships with VisionSprings and other eye-focused non-profit organizations.