As someone who’s worn prescription eyewear for most of their life, I often find the ‘typical’ process of finding and buying a pair of frames needlessly maddening. Stores are overloaded with nearly identical frames (save for whatever ‘designer’ happens to be stamped on the temple), prices seem to have no rhyme or reason to them and while a salesperson hovers over my shoulder I squint into a sliver of mirror placed between walls of fluorescent back-lighting. A better way to buy eyewear surely can’t be so hard to conceive of, which is why I was ecstatic when the team from DAVID KIND contacted me about giving their “Online Luxury Eyewear” service a try.
By now, most people in need of eyewear are probably aware of the various ‘at home try-on’ services available in the market, with a series of frames being shipped to your door all at hard-to-believe prices. I have used these services before, and in the end have come to the conclusion that the low quality of the frames isn’t worth the savings; especially if they’re worn to correct your vision and not just your personal style. Having been burned by sub-par quality, I admit I was a bit skeptical when DAVID KIND contacted us promising a personal stylist that would curate a selection of six high-end frames to be shipped directly to my door in a matter of days.
As someone who feels strongly about their sense of personal style, the idea of largely giving up eyewear selection to someone else was foreign territory to me, but in the end invaluable. Eyewear is so often something that we choose to play it safe with, sticking with what feels and looks familiar. With my DAVID KIND stylist Trish making the selections for me, I was able to try on a variety of frames I would have never selected for myself: in fact, I ultimately chose their Trenton frame in Glacier Grey, which I never would have even thought to try.
During the week I had the handsomely packaged set of frames at home, I came to appreciate being able to rotate through the variety of frames; getting the opinion of friends and family, as well as trying them out with different outfits and in different lighting situations. Being a major ‘medical’ purchase that I wear every day, it seems crazy that the standard method of selecting eyewear amounts to maybe an hour spent in a store.
In the end what I was most impressed with was the quality of DAVID KIND’s product. From the beautifully appointed cork case that the home try-on set came in (your final frames also come in a cork case with embossed polishing cloth), to the individual cards that allow you to communicate with your stylist about what works for you and what doesn’t; it was clear the DAVID KIND team has put a lot of careful consideration into the consumer experience at every level.
Ultimately though, it’s the frames and lenses themselves that need to live up to a high standard of quality. With a price of $295 USD for the entire DAVID KIND service – including styling, return shipping for your home try on set and shipping of your final selection – it’s hard to believe the high standard to which they’re able to manufacture their frames. Depending on style, all their models are handmade in either Italy or Japan from the finest acetate, and feature Trivex HD lenses for unparalleled clarity and optical accuracy. Having spent untold $1000’s on ‘designer’ eyewear over the years, putting my finished DAVID KIND Trenton frames on for the first time was a revelation: they truly delivered the luxury service, styling and product they had promised.