Rida Khan might have taken a page out of Warby Parker’s playbook, but she’s vying to write the next chapter for the eyewear segment. Khan’s endeavor, EyeDesired, a subscription service specializing in prescription eyewear and sunglasses, aims to build on Millennials’ familiarity with brands such as Warby Parker, while contributing to the disruption of the category’s traditional infrastructure.
Offering frames for men and women, EyeDesired extends a recurring monthly delivery. Members are able to freely swap out pairs for alternatives from brands such as Tom Ford, Balmain and Versace. Entry subscriptions are available for a monthly $45 fee. Once selecting a pair, subscribers are able to purchase frames for up to 80 percent of retail price. Here, Khan discusses democratizing the eyewear category, reaching Millennials and other insights into the market.
WWD: What in the market necessitated the development of this service?
Rida Khan: The extremely high prices and the almost monopolization of the eyewear industry. Additionally, the massive costs for prescription lenses.
WWD: What technologies are being deployed to provide subscribers accurate recommendations?
R.K.: We currently are using search history algorithms to help us provide, with accurate recommendations along with rental history, likes and dislikes. We will be adding facial recognition that will configure the face and [preferences] of people with similar face shapes and proportion.
WWD: How have consumer expectations shaped the eyewear category?
R.K.: With the eyewear industry being controlled by major big players in the industry, consumers have been forced to go with the current monopoly. We are taking control away from the big companies and giving the power to the consumer shape the industry the way they want.
WWD: Millennials and Gen Z have notoriously poor brand loyalty; how is EyeDesired working to maintain its subscriber base?
R.K.: That is absolutely correct! They don’t have brand loyalty, which is why we offer multiple brands. They additionally don’t like to pay full price for a product and love the idea of a shared economy and hate any ownership structure to own a product. That is exactly what EyeDesired fulfills — we’re very geared toward them.
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