For Warby Parker, the Boston area is a special place. The innovative eyewear company setup its first permanent residence outside its New York flagship location here in 2013 and will open its doors to its newest location in Harvard Square today. “We’re really excited to be here across the river,” says Warby Parker staff, Ruthie Ben-Zvi. The Cambridge opening will be the brand’s third location in the Boston area with a fourth on its way to the Seaport early next year. “A lot of customers who visit us at the Prudential Center or at Newbury Street live in Cambridge, go to school or work in Cambridge. So we’re really excited to offer them a more convenient place to come shop with us.”
Just like its other locations, the design of the store is built for visitors to feel like they’re in a library. “We have terrazzo-tiled flooring, our marble reference desk, suspended globe lighting, a card catalog inspired table, a lot of books, some of which are for sale and then of course our glasses collections,” BenZvi says. To the naked eye, the spectacle shop might look similar to its other locations, but we found some rare features that are exclusive to the new shop and worth a closer look.
Behind Warby Parker’s signature reference desk is a mural by Massachusetts-based illustrator and designer Christopher Delorenzo, who included local features from the Charles River to the iconic MBTA Red Line train. “It’s an homage to the Cambridge cityscape,” Ben-Zvi says. “It has glasses everywhere—it’s intrinsic of our brand and also of the artist’s style.”
These Haskell frames in Striped Pacific with Flash Mirrored Iridescent lenses are exclusive to the Cambridge location says Ben-Zvi, who mentions the limited sunglasses will typically be available for a few weeks or until they sell out.
“This is something we don’t have in any of our other Warby Parker stores,” Ben-Zvi says. “This is what we’re calling the Warby Parker Pencil Room.” Through a collaboration with CW Pencil Enterprise, the Cambridge location will exclusively sell writing utensils with several dozen one-liners authored by the students of 826 Boston, a nonprofit that helps young students sharpen their writing skills. The pencils are four for $2 with all proceeds benefitting the nonprofit. “This is a fun little alcove of our store that hopefully makes shopping for glasses a little bit more interesting and fun and also gives back to the community locally.”
Warby Parker’s Cambridge location opens Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. Other Boston locations include 83 Newbury St. and at the Shops at the Prudential Center.
Warby Parker, 39 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge. warbyparker.com