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Recapping the Enigmatic Eyewear Boom of 2013

Retrosuperfuture. Photo by Paul Barbera.
Retrosuperfuture. Photo by Paul Barbera.

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In 2013, New York City saw no fewer than seven optical store openings, one major move of a glasses giant, four new spectacle shop-in-shops, and one rooftop sunglasses vending machine erected. Why the sudden boom in fashionable optics? We don't know for sure, but it was impossible not to notice this year. After the jump, a timeline of the bizarre boom.

March

French eyewear brand Anne et Valentin open on a mellow stretch of Prince Street in Nolita.

April

After flirting with showrooms and pop-up concepts, online optical darlings Warby Parker finally open a storefront, selecting Soho for their debut.

Near by, English brand Cutler & Gross sets up their first U.S. store, boasting over 4,000 frames from the late '60s to the present.

May

Legendary Lower East Side glasses purveyors Moscot move for the first time in 77 years—across the street.

July

After successfully introducing an in-house optical line at his new home goods store, Steven Alan announces plans to roll out the product line to the Chelsea and Atlantic Avenue stores.

Urban Outfitters gets a piece of the action at their Noho store when online glasses retailer Tortoise & Blonde opens a shop-in-shop.

The Monocole Order, yet another e-tailer, opens a rooftop vending machine. At a club. In Williamsburg.

Meanwhile, Soho gets another hip optical shop, this time in the form of Germany's Mykita.

Farther west, Warby Parker converts a long-time pop-up shop into a full fledged store in the Meatpacking District.

August

Apparently that vending machine wasn't enough—The Monocole Order nabs a flagship showroom, also in Williamsburg.

December

Italy's Retrosuperfuture sneaks into Soho at the end of the year, opening their first ever flagship on Howard Street.
· All eyewear coverage
· All Year In Racked 2013 posts [Racked NY]