FACT: Snappy eyewear makes you look smarter. And by some opinions, smart is sexy. So when I got the offer for a free pair of Starling Eyewear frames to learn more about this neat, new business, I was all over it. I’m always up for looking smarter and sexier.
Starling Eyewear was founded by Isabelle and Pierre Fay, both originally from Paris, now living in Austin for three years, by way of 30 years in New York. Pierre worked for years as an executive in the eyewear industry, and Isabelle was an interior designer and also used to design fabric for Lanvin (*swoon*). Together, this style super duo decided to fill a void in the eyewear market – stylish, ready-to-wear reader glasses. We’ve all seen the racks of cheapo readers at the drugstore, and Pierre and Isabelle knew they could do better but still at a friendly price point.
Starling is fashionable yet affordable, because Isabelle and Pierre control the whole process. They design the glasses, handle manufacturing, distribution and sales. These high-quality frames are made of the same Italian acetate used in costly designer frames. Plus, each design comes in multiple color options, so you can find the palette that compliments you. Best part? You get your frames with the type of lenses you need (single vision, bifocal, progressive) on the spot. And then you can do all that for your reader sunglasses, too. Instant, stylish gratification for around $65.
Starling Eyewear is a new business, operating out of pop-up locations. The Starling trailer was a big hit at last year’s ACL Fest and then again at the Texas Book Festival. I visited the pop-up wagon at the Domain in Austin. More pop-up locations, including Barton Creek Square Mall, and eventually a retail store are on the horizon.
The best part of my whole Starling experience was having Pierre’s assistance in picking my new frames. As can be expected, Pierre was charming and friendly, with an astute eye. Of course, I tried on many options (that’s half the fun!), but in the end, the first pair he handed me was the winner. I walked away with a pair of Amy frames in navy and blond tortoise. The French know fashion – très chic!
After realizing that my last eye exam was more than five years ago, I decided that I’d spring for some new lenses. My Starling frames are at the eye shop as I type getting my new prescription lenses put in (yes, you can do that with these versatile frames). I can’t wait to sport my new glasses at the office. I’m just positive a big job promotion or raise will follow suit. Now that I know about Starling, I guarantee I’ll be changing up my eyewear look on a more regular basis.
Images: collages – author’s own; Starling Amy frame