3 posts tagged "Jack Kerouac"
Web sites come and Web sites go, but digital wunderkind Warby Parker, which built a company on selling glasses online, has laid a cornerstone of the most permanent kind. “After the nuclear war, this’ll still be here,” cofounder Neil Blumenthal laughed last night, touching his toe to the terrazzo floor, inlaid with a silver WARBY PARKER logo, at the brand’s new Soho flagship. The new shop is not technically the first Warby store—that distinction goes to the Meatpacking District space that was meant as a pop-up but, thanks to rampant interest, will now be sticking around—but the 2,000-square-foot Greene Street store is its most ambitious effort. (The location also puts it in good company. As fashion brands have flocked back to Soho, Greene Street in particular has become a central strip: Chloé, Tiffany & Co., Vanessa Bruno, Dior Homme, and Stella McCartney have opened their doors here in the past year, and a major American fashion label is said to have just signed the lease for its second store next door.)
Terrazzo floors notwithstanding—they’re a reference to the floors of New York’s august civic buildings—the new shop, designed in collaboration with Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti of Partners & Spade, mimics a library, with custom eighteen-foot bookcases, rolling library ladders, and a selection of books from fourteen different indie publishers, which are available for sale. “There’s obviously a link between vision and learning,” Blumenthal said, and reading has been closest to the brand’s heart from the start: The Warby Parker name comes from the names of two characters in an unpublished Jack Kerouac manuscript Blumenthal and his cofounder, Dave Gilboa, found at the New York Public Library. (The NYPL itself is a major inspiration for the new space, as well as being the site of WP’s first fashion week presentation, back in 2011.) Blumenthal and Gilboa will continue to sell online, where, they note, the selection is, in fact, even greater than the store’s. But a stone-and-steel location has certain advantages over the Web. Key among them is the full-time on-site optometrist. If there’s a wait for the good doctor’s time, have a look around—your name will eventually flip onto the train-station-style schedule board.
Warby Parker opens this Saturday at 121 Greene Street, NYC; www.warbyparker.com.
Since Warby Parker is named after two early Jack Kerouac characters, it’s no surprise that the sixties strongly resonate with the do-good eyewear brand’s latest creative effort: the Warby Parker Readery. In collaboration with The Standard, Downtown LA, the Readery will reimagine in irreverent detail the age-old lobby newsstand—an apt extension fit for a brand that has been built on discovery. “Two pillars of our brand are innovation and customer experience,” Warby co-founder Neil Blumenthal explained of the impetus behind the expansion (set to land at New York’s The Standard, East Village next week). “We very much look to the hospitality industry and The Standard to see how they welcome people and make them feel at home and comfortable and inject fun—and we’re trying to do the same. There’s a perfect synergy there.”
Said synergy is evident in the converted space’s glossed design, realized together with The Standard’s creative director, Claire Darrow Mosier. Set against the powder-coated aluminum finishes are vintage books by the sixties’ most iconic Beat writers, select first editions, essential sundries, the brand’s standard optical range, and a pair of limited-edition sunglasses ($95) debuting for the launch. Co-designed with The Standard team, the special pair is a riff on Warby Parker’s classic Winston shape in a striated Ale brown frame and green lens, both tones that draw heavily on the referenced time period. Just days after summer’s official calendar start, Blumenthal believes the curated kiosk comes at the perfect time. “We were thinking about summer as a time of leisure and one that you want to have fun and relax, but we still always want to be learning,” he continued, suggesting the perfect poolside pairing of vintage reads and Warby’s perennially cool specs. And in the spirit of summer, The Standard, Downtown LA will kick off the collaboration with a throwback pool party on Saturday.
The Standard, Downtown LA, 550 S. Flower St., L.A.
Jack Kerouac, D.H. Lawrence, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the wayward youths of Glasgow—no, not one of the stranger cocktail parties imaginable, just a few of the inspirations menswear designers drew on for the season. [WWD]
The New York Daily News rounds up fashion’s 50 most fascinating people to keep an eye out for this fashion week. (The aw-shucks one among them: our own editor in chief, Dirk Standen.) [NY Daily News]
Christian Louboutin has released his second Barbie doll, Dolly Forever, who wears a pair of the designer’s knee-high, fringed boots in hot pink. [Vogue U.K.]
Breaking news from the Wall Street Journal: Fashion week seating is competitive, and you are where you sit. Also hot off the presses: Sky Reported to Be Azure. [WSJ]