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Clear vision: Hip online eyeglass favorite Warby Parker plans a real Houston store

Clear vision: Hip online fave Warby Parker plans a real Houston store

Warby Parker Karlie Koss
Model Karlie Kloss has collaborated with Warby Parker on a series of sunglasses retailing for $145. Courtesy photo

Warby Parker, the online eyeglass retailer that has become the go-to place for the fashionable and hip, has decided to build real brick and mortar stores — and one of them will soon be in Houston.

The company is headed to River Oaks District, the new mixed-use complex currently under construction on Westheimer just inside the 610 Loop, next year. California developer OliverMcMillan has added Warby Parker to a long list of designer stores headed to the new center.

Founded in 2010 and named for two characters in Beat Generation Jack Kerouac's journal, Warby Parker has been called the "Netflix of Eyewear" by GQ magazine because it designs manufactures its own eyewear to keep expenses down (most of its stylish frames sell for less than $100) and sells them directly to consumers online. The company donates a pair of glasses for every pair sold to people in need through the nonprofit VisionSpring.

The Houston store will join a handful of Warby Parker stores across the U.S., including Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco Chicago. It also launched Warby Parker Class Trip, a mobile school bus designed to look like a vintage elementary school classroom, that has set up shop in Austin for the next six months

The Houston store is expected to be similar to one that debuted in Chicago a couple of months ago, where shoppers can try on glasses and have free portraits taken by a professional photographer, acording to Crain's Chicago Business magazine.

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