Suddenly, Soho has become a hotbed for... optics. Three eyewear brands have opened recently in the neighborhood: Anne et Valentin, Cutler and Gross, and Warby Parker. Beyond the location, all three have one thing in common: terribly cool frames. After the jump, we break down all three for a better seeing—and looking—you.
Image via Anne et Valentin
Anne et Valentin landed at 2 Prince Street in March. Based in France, this is the brand's first stateside store, though they've had a U.S. wholesale presence since 1997. The store features an on-site optical lab and workshop, so once you pick out your frames, they'll order your lenses, insert them, and fit them for you upon pickup. All staff are optical degree graduates, and they plan to offer eye exams in the near future.
Best bet for: on-trend Parisian showstoppers.
Image via Culter and Gross blog
British brand Cutler and Gross has over 4,000 of ">their handmade frames on display at their 110 Mercer Street storefront, with some styles dating back to 1969. They're known to collaborate with fashion designers like Giles Deacon and Alberta Ferretti, resulting in some wild straight-from-the-runway styles. If you really can't bear to wear someone else's design, you can create your own with their bespoke service. The shop offers full optometric and prescription services.
Best bet for: Wildly fashionable, authentically vintage, or custom frames.
Beyond attractive frames, the price is pretty good looking at Warby Parker. Starting at just $95—including prescription—the brand pioneered the online direct-to-consumer eyeglasses model. The recent opening of their shop at 121 Greene Street allows customers to try on the frames, but—like the website—you'll order your specs for delivery to your door. Eye exams are available on-site for $50 with an appointment, and opticians on staff can consult on any issues regarding prescriptions or fit.
Best bet for: Budget-concious, high-style, tech-savvy shoppers. Oh, and they donate a pair to someone in need for every pair purchased, so that's not too shabby either.
· Eyewear Brand Cutler and Gross Picks Soho for Its First U.S. Store [Racked NY]
· Tour Warby Parker's Amazing New Greene Street Flagship [Racked NY]
· Now Open: Anne et Valentin [Racked NY]