The David Kind Eyewear Experience- 07.02.14
So the last few weeks has been quite the learning experience for me - decades of over computer usage seem to have caught up with me and my occasional eyeglasses for late night driving/etc are being used a bit more frequently. So when i got my new prescription and needed new lenses, an email from long time NOTCOT reader, Dave Barton of David Kind, seemed perfectly timed! Beyond the stunning cork packaging (swoon) and the high quality, luxury frames, what has been most exciting is learning about the advances in eyeglass lens technology! When i got new lenses in my old glasses updated to the new prescription, there was no question about what type of lens i wanted besides anti glare, transitions, etc… I didn’t even know what to ask about! Shawn on the other hand, has been in pretty thick glasses since he was 4, and is never without his glasses/contacts. While in Nashville we even found his stash of old glasses and how the lenses have been slowly evolving and getting thinner/lighter, from glass to polycarbonate and now on to High Definition and Trivex.
Luckily for us, David Kind is based right here in Venice, CA! With years in the eyewear industry, Dave Barton spent a lot of time at Spy+ and Oliver Peoples/Luxotica as well as starting another eyewear company before launching, David Kind - so it’s been great getting caught up on the options. From first touch - it’s easy to see and feel the quality of the frames and the attention to detail on designing and perfecting every little thing. But it wasn’t until i just got my glasses in my prescription that i understood the clarity i’d been missing with my old lenses. While the frames and process may feel like other online ‘try at home, then buy’ eyewear stores - what has surprised me the most is how much attention to detail and how knowledgable the team at David Kind has been along the whole process. They work with you to find the right pair, make sure to find the best lens for your prescription, get everything aligned and adjusted and customized as needed… and the packaging is just awesome too. Take a peek at what i’ve learned and all the details on the next page!
Here’s where i got curious…
And like many high end luxury frames, their frames are responsibly crafted in Sabae Japan and Cadore, Italy - It’s fascinating hearing the stories about the eyewear industries in these places - especially about the history, craftsmanship, materials and processes.
In Cadore, “Some of the finest eyewear in the world has been produced in factories in this region since the first optical factory opened it’s doors in the late 1800’s.” In Sabae, “Eyewear manufacturing swelled quickly in Sabae during Japan’s period of rapid economic growth following World War II. One in six of Sabae’s residents work in the eyeglass industry.”
But what really intrigued me was the lenses. Why didn’t anyone talk to me about lens options when I bought previous glasses? And most importantly… how much of a difference could these lighter Trivex and High Def optics actually make?
So Shawn and I decided to give it a go… fill out the online form…
… and a beautiful cork box appears with 6 options each!
In each box is a built in mirror, 6 glasses to try, and a note explaining their choices for you. There’s something fun about the stylist aspect - i like the idea of trying something unexpected. But my inner shopper likes to see EVERYTHING (‘view all’ is my favorite button in any online shop)…
While you can email/call Trish over at David Kind - we cheated slightly, and had a lovely chat with her in person over at their studio.
Here’s what was chosen for Shawn…
… and here’s my selection!
Each one has a special card for you to leave comments on before you send it all back to help the stylist find the perfect pair for you.
An Instagram pic while we were trying them on…
I definitely liked the Mia’s best - Shawn the Ace! Hardest part next was the colors… you can chat with them about other color options for frames you like that might not be in your box.
And there’s totally a secret menu of options you can request! Like a Matte finish on the acetate frames! And nose pads - added just where you need them! Also, it’s worth noting that the black isn’t a pure/solid black - it is more of a black tortoise/blend of sorts - layers of various colors go into the acetate blocks making each and every pair unique and giving them a nice depth/complexity when you look closely.
Next you pick what you like (and share what you don’t) and send the box back! In our case, Shawn and i both found ones that worked well for us. He liked the Ace in Matte Olive Green. I fell for the Mia in matted black with nose pads - though I needed the nose pads a smidge higher than in the demo box… You can supply your prescription and pupil distance (PD) or also follow the instructions for a selfie they can use to measure both PD and pupil height.
A few days later we were excited to get our order shipment notifications! Special changes can take longer - so mine took a few more days than Shawn’s due to the Matteing being custom done.
Then a little box appears at the doorstep! Inside is a mini version of that lovely cork tester case - which if you’re in love with, you CAN buy it, or get it when ordering a bunch of glasses!
A peek at our matted out new glasses!
On nice little details - the coordinates for Los Angeles are on the cleaning cloth!
Here’s a closer look at my matte black, nose padded Mia!
And the tiny details…
… i’ve been wearing them a few days now…
Conclusion? Trivex! YES. How did no one tell me about this earlier? Trying on these versus my polycarbonate lenses - it sounds silly, but honestly, it feels like what i imagine wearing empty frames if i had perfect vision would feel like. The clarity through the edges IS noticeable and feels much better. Shawn’s having a bit more trouble adjusting to his High Definition Lenses (they are thinner/lighter than Trivex for those with higher prescriptions) - but we’re trying it out longer to see how it goes. In addition to being a new prescription for him, reading up, we’ve heard that some people take a week or so to adjust to trivex/high-def lenses after polycarb. But he agrees it’s definitely clearer and far thinner/lighter!
As for the frames - the quality feels great - from the acetate to the riveted hinges and custom wire core - no detail is overlooked. I also heard that David Kind Prescription (and non-prescription) Sunglass options are coming soon… can’t wait!
And here’s a peek inside the world (and studio!) of David Kind…