Warby Parker is going upscale.
On Tuesday, the eyewear brand will launch its limited-edition Thea collection of sunglasses, its first high-end offering. “We always wanted to [have a high-end collection] since we had the idea for Warby Parker,” said cofounder Neil Blumenthal. “The intent was always, ‘How can we create the product that we love and admire and show it in a way that provides exceptional value?’ When we were starting, we found that we were able to do that with acetate frames in custom colors and special palates. Now, a few years in, we’ve been able to find out how to take this a step further and that’s where the Thea collection comes from.”
The collection will consist of three styles: the Grace, a modified cat-eye shape with a winged cutaway detail at the temple; the Penrose, an oversize, squared-off frame, and the Lovett, a square silhouette with an angled brow. Each style comes hand-wrapped in stainless steel triple-coated in 24-karat gold, and is available in jet black and “red canyon,” a red-hued tortoise. “Being a New York-based brand, when we think of being chic and glamorous, we immediately go to the color black, so the thought was how do we play with the black and gold,” Blumenthal said. “The pinnacle of chic is really subtle hints — it’s a detail that people with a discerning eye can notice. That’s been a distinguishing factor of Warby Parker from Day One.”
The name itself, Thea, derives from the Titan Goddess of sight. “In our office, we have a copy of “The Odyssey,” and we think we’ve been on this crazy journey — an odyssey of our own right,” Blumenthal said.
The collection will be available online and in stores beginning Tuesday, retailing for $195. Blumenthal notes that while the collection itself will only be stocked “for a few months,” the new price point is here to stay. “In addition to providing exceptional value, we want to make the shopping fun and convenient,” he said. “We started at $95, then we went to $145, and now with $195, we have a simple tiered pricing. So many of our customers also tend to buy really expensive sunglasses and now they’ll be able to buy that from us, as well.”