THE DUALITY OF WARBY PARKER X MAIYET

Interview Magazine
September 25, 2015

KATHERINE CUSUMANO

There’s a kind of inevitable feel­ing about the col­lab­o­ra­tion between vintage-​​inspired eye­wear brand Warby Parker and eth­i­cal label Maiyet. Both were founded five years ago in 2010; both have since become known for their social prin­ci­ples as much as their aesthetics.

So, fit­tingly, the Bird col­lec­tion that launched yes­ter­day is, in a way, two sunglasses—and two missions—rolled into one. The pairs con­sists of two acetate lay­ers in con­trast­ing hues that bring to mind retro flip-​​up glasses. In keep­ing with the Warby Parker phi­los­o­phy, for every pair pur­chased a pair of glasses will go to orga­ni­za­tions like Vision­Spring, whose mis­sion is dis­trib­ut­ing eye­wear and train­ing entre­pre­neurs on eye­glass sales in under­priv­i­leged areas. Sim­i­larly, Maiyet has teamed up with Nest, a non­profit that sup­ports arti­san crafts and com­mu­nity development.

War­bys have always been glasses for the every­man, but the Bird col­lab­o­ra­tion is far from pedes­trian. The glasses have a heft to them; it would be hard to for­get them on top of your head, or on your face. They come in three neu­tral shades—jet black with striped oys­ter­shell, the reverse striped oys­ter­shell with jet black, and burnt honey with cream. Their pro­file leans towards a slight cat-​​eye, and they’re wide—wide enough to dwarf your face, with a glam vibe that might best be paired with a lux­u­ri­ous fur coat and a dark lip.