Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Answer: Investors in the company sure hope so. New York Times Dealbook reports that investors are treating Warby Parker as they would Tory Burch or J.Crew—like a lifestyle brand, rather than an e-commerce platform—despite the fact that the optical wear company does the majority of its business online. One such investor explains, "They treat clients like relationships. They're very much oriented toward telling people about a lifestyle they want to associate with."
And now, they've attracted J.Crew's chief executive Micky Drexler in their most recent round of financing, which is a major vote of confidence for the brand's staying power in the retail world. Up until this point, Drexler had been acting as Warby Parker's unofficial mentor because "he was excited about some of the exciting retail stuff we were doing" but "when it was time to raise money, we wanted to get him formally involved," according to the company co-founder Neil Blumenthal. Still, there are no plans of selling the frames through J.Crew right now. (The site is already rife with nerdy-chic Jenna Lyons-style glasses, however, should you want to combine the two brands on your own time.)
· Warby Parker Is Helping Google Design The Glass [Racked]
· Bonobos Founder No Longer Believes in Online-Only Retail Model [Racked]