Hot Shop: Warby Parker

The Colorado Boulevard store helps Pasadenans see clearly and stylishly.

Buying eyeglasses can be an expensive and time-consuming, which is what inspired Warby Parker’s founders to create an easier and more affordable process—without sacrificing style or quality. By forgoing traditional channels, such as designing glasses in-house and engaging with customers directly, Warby Parker is able to provide higher-quality prescription eyewear starting at $95, a fraction of the going rate.

Warby Parker recently set up its seventh store in the Los Angeles area, along Pasadena’s bustling Colorado Boulevard. “Being accessible to all of our customers has always been important to us,” says co-founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa. “And we’re especially excited to meet the people that make up the community of Pasadena. Pasadena’s rich history and vibrant creative community feels like home to us—and opening a store here felt like a natural choice.”

With a nod to Pasadena’s creative heritage, the brand even enlisted the talent of Art Center College of Design alum Rafael López for help with the store’s aesthetics.

Sara Essex Bradley

In addition to helping others look and feel good, Warby Parker is all about doing good through the programs such as Buy a Pair, Give a Pair and Pupils Project. “From day one, we set out to transform the optical industry and demonstrate that for-profit companies can do good in the world,” Gilboa says. “We work with international partners to distribute glasses to people in need, and with local organizations and government agencies that provide free eye exams and glasses to schoolchildren in New York City and Baltimore.”

While we recommend seeing the new space in person, if you’re in a time crunch (or just don’t want to deal with parking), you can browse Warby Parker’s app or website and try the Home Try-On program, in which customers can select five frames to be mailed to them to try for free.

“We’re constantly evolving to make things more fun and efficient,” Gilboa says. “Most recently, we launched Virtual Try-On—a new augmented-reality tool that uses Apple’s ARKit and TrueDepth camera technology, along with our own proprietary frame placement and fit system, to help customers find their perfect-fitting frame.”

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