Jumping in the ring with Warby Parker, sunglass and luxury goods brand Illesteva is launching its first optical line that will not be sold direct to consumer online.
Illesteva launched in 2010 bringing luxury sunglasses to consumers both online and in stores. The brand eventually expanded to other accessories like backpacks and umbrellas. Today, Illesteva is launching its first optical line of glasses as a direct-to-consumer product, with retail experiences limited to Illesteva’s three flagship stores.
The line includes 15 new models of acetate and metal frames with polycarbonate that start at $165.
“I don’t believe optical glasses should cost $700+ nor should someone have to sacrifice quality just to own a pair of cheap glasses that won’t last nearly as long as they should,” said founder Daniel Silberman. “Glasses are something that you wear all day and with the D2C line, we will be able to cut out the middlemen and offer the highest quality products.”
The fact that Illesteva, which sells its sunglasses in retail stores such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdales (along with their own stores), is going direct to consumer with its optical line shows the proven brand awareness of Warby Parker and its success with the introduction of prescription glasses sold online.
As consumers become more comfortable with that format, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more and more glasses companies try out D2C, which could spell hotter competition for Warby Parker. We’ve already seen other startups, like Frameri which sells frames with interchangeable lenses, try to replicate Warby Parker’s business model.
By selling the optical line direct-to-consumer, we’re able to offer our customers the highest quality handmade products at an unmatched price point because we don’t have any of the wholesale margins to think about,” said Silberman. “Direct-to-consumer also allows us to have full and complete control over the product we’re selling. Optical care is much more personal than sunglasses, and by selling exclusively D2C, we can ensure every customer has the best experience possible.”
If you want to check out Illesteva’s new optical line, check out the website here.