It's easy to dismiss dads and their (more often than not embarrassing) old-school styles, but Neil Blumenthal, one of the founders of Warby Parker, is arguing their defense: "Dads were onto something." He's talking about clip-on frames, a product of a generation that prioritized convenience and practicality over aesthetic. "Clip-ons are functional—they didn't have the right style or design sensibility," Blumenthal continues with a laugh. But Blumenthal and the Warby Parker team have armed themselves with the mission to change that perception—with the launch of the eyewear brand's first-ever clip-ons. Make that, chic clip-ons.
"It's something we always wanted to do," he tells InStyle. "We think of eyewear as one of the big examples of form and function—a beautiful design that enables you to see—and clip-ons even further exemplifies that."
And any glasses-wearer knows and understands the pain of having to switch to prescription sunglasses whenever the sun is out. Interestingly enough, prescription sunglasses continue to be Warby Parker's top-performing pieces—a fact that's indicative of the demand for a solution to switch between the two. Blumenthal is quick to point out that Warby Parker's designs are nothing like anything else on the market—they're leather-wrapped stainless steel with polarized lenses: "They're beautiful and interesting with a different construction and a different color palette."
Coinciding with the debut of the brand's first-ever clip-ons is the launch of three new styles inspired by the classic Windsor rim—Phipps, Gellhorn, and Henry—crafted from Japanese titanium and wrapped in cellulose acetate coils.
"One of the jokes we have in our design studio is we don't want anyone to punch themselves in the face 10 years from now for wearing something today," Blumenthal laughs. "Our hope is to design things that are clean and classic, but with a contemporary element."
The clip-ons and the new Windsor-inspired styles are available starting today at $195 in stores and warbyparker.com. And of course, for every pair of frames sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.