Retail Report: Warby Parker Lands in Venice
The online spectacle shop debuts its second brick-and-mortar in California
"Venice is a hotbed of creativity, and we’ve been attracted to the area for a long time," says Warby Parker co-founder/co-CEO Neil Blumenthal of the brand’s new Abbot Kinney location, which opened its doors last week with a buzzy evening fete that drew the likes of Emmy Rossum, DJ Samantha Ronson and Sons of Anarchy star Drea de Matteo.
Following on the heels of the brand’s successful boutique at The Standard in Hollywood, the beachside locale is one of a handful of new stores sweeping the tony street lately, including Rag & Bone and Austin-based men's store Stag.
"We drew inspiration for the store’s details from the community: The space is stocked with midcentury furniture, a glass storefront accordions open for maximum breeziness, and one of our favorite local artists, Geoff McFetridge, painted the facade's mural," says Blumenthal of the design concept, which, awash in shades of blue, seeks to interpret the laid-back, artsy seaside vibe for which Venice Beach is known.
The store stocks the brand's complete selection of prescription eyewear and sunglasses — which typically sell online for $95 a pair — as well as Warby Parker’s recent collaborations with the likes of musician Beck and model Karlie Kloss. All designs are part of the "buy a pair, give a pair" arrangement, which means a pair of glasses is donated to a person in need for every one sold.
"My girlfriend works for Warby Parker, and I love their glasses," said de Matteo, who relies on paparazzi-proof specs when walking her dogs in Los Angeles. "And she promised to get me a pair," she laughed.
Warby Parker, 1422 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Los Angeles. Daily, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 310-280-2055; warbyparker.com.