“Why do you have a hallway full of shoes, and only one pair of glasses?” wondered Owl Optics founder David Kamp.
This story first appeared in the July 29, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Together with Owl’s head of design and production, Lars Neckel, formerly of Berlin’s Mykita, Kamp set out to challenge this query with an affordable line of Internet-only eyewear. Operating with a mail-order model, Owl offers complete pairs of matte acetate sunglasses and corrective glasses for 150 euros, or $199, for frames and lenses up to +/-6.00. There’s a surcharge for stronger and thinner lenses.
Purchasing the frame alone runs 120 euros, or $159. The five unisex styles come in a range of five neutral and pastel colors, and all frames, which are manufactured in Asia, are limited to a run of 100 pieces. Frame seekers in Berlin, Frankfurt or Hamburg can try on Owl styles in shops or via private viewings — what the label calls an optical “blind date.”
Shoppers elsewhere have to take a leap of faith in Kamp and his team’s expertise. Owl Optics sells throughout Germany and Europe; the company is also looking to expand into markets further abroad, such as Japan.