The Monocle Order, New York City

Another pure online retailer has made the leap to brick-and-mortar. The Monocle Order, an online member’s club for sunglasses and optical frames, has opened a flagship in Brooklyn’s uber hip Williamsburg neighborhood.

The store has a clean, minimalist look and warm vibe. It features custom-designed, solid-oak displays styled so that the sunglasses and optical frames appear to be floating against exposed brick wall. (The store does not fill prescriptions for lenses.) The walls are decorated with antique wood frames that showcase images of past events and photo shoots so customers can visualize the brands history.

Customers can take part in an interactive photo shoot while selecting their frames from over 500 vintage and new unique designs. (The selection covers independent designers and cool vintage frames as well. Many of the featured brands have little or no representation in the U.S.) The images are sent to the customer to post on their social media page and share with their friends.

The Monocle Order was founded by Alex van Klaveren and Zoe Nightingale, who launched the site in March 2011 with a clever twist: After the first purchase of full-price frames, customer are granted membership status, giving them access to “members only” eyewear collections at a discounted rate. Members also receives invites and access to members-only parties that the company puts on in various hot spots around New York City.


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