The eyewear world changed dramatically when Warby Parker launched in 2010. The days of spending rent on a pair of glasses are (thankfully) behind us. The quality of lenses and frames offered by many affordable eyewear brands sometimes don’t stand up to daily wear and tear. As an alternative, there’s recently launched luxury eyewear brand David Kind. While the business model is similar to brands that have come before them, David Kind’s level of design, customer service and quality are a cut above. To achieve this, founder Dave Barton relies on over a decade of experience in the luxury eyewear industry, as well as a team of talented designers plucked from brands including Oliver Peoples and stylists that work one-on-one with each customer.
As a group that spends countless hours each week staring at a computer screen—and thus watching our eyesight worsen—we welcomed the opportunity to try out the service ourselves. The online-only business allows customers to interact exclusively with the brand entirely through its website and subsequent emails. Once you answer a couple questions regarding design preferences, a personal stylist chooses six frames and sends them for home try-on. As Barton explains, these stylists play a significant role. “Our stylists are the key to our customer experience. They are eyewear experts and capable of answering questions from fit and style to lens materials and optics.” After your pick is made, RX filed with your stylist and samples returned, the finished prescription pair arrives a week or so later.
Frames are made in Japan and feel sturdy in hand, though the highlight is the lens quality. David Kind uses Trivex/High Index HD Digital Lenses, whereas most brands opt for a much lower grade polycarbonate lens. These HD lenses allow for a wider RX range, thinner profile and clearer viewing surface. As for the experience in general, the quality and consistency of communication with our appointed stylist was impressive. Though the time it took to receive the finished frame could have been improved—perhaps Amazon Prime has skewed expectations. Either way, when considering that a pair of Oliver Peoples frames run upwards of $400 sans lenses, the $295 price tag on David Kind eyewear (which come with lenses in a lovely cork case) is more than reasonable.
Visit David Kind online for more information.
Last image by Cool Hunting, product shots courtesy of David Kind