Gone are the days where you only find and buy your favorite item from a brick and mortar storefront. That’s thanks to Austin’s forward and creative thinking for being on the forefront of startup retail concepts mostly in food trailers. It probably doesn’t seem much of a surprise selling fashion from a cart, wagon or airstream-style trailer would eventually become a fashionable selling option. Austin is home to several fashion trailer startups including shoe vendor BootLeg.
I had the chance to try on a few of the styles (along with my fashion assistant dog Cooper). The frames are lightweight, very colorful and fun.
First-time shopper Gina Scainio was in the market for some new frames while I was there. She liked her shopping experience. “Unique colorful frames. Lots of options, lots of colors, great prices and great customer service”. said Scanio. She also commented on how the sales staff was so honest when she put different frames on and recommended which ones were the most flattering.
Gina bought two new, fun frames. Starting at $60.00, Starling hopes other customers will be like Gina, seeing the line as an opportunity to make eyewear a fashion accessory with multiple pairs for different looks and moods. Considering I spent recently paid $200.00 for my designer eyewear, $60.00 is a deal.
Getting to Austin has been a long time in the making for owners Pierre and Isabelle Fay. Paris, France was home for the couple; then New York became home base for more than 30 years. Pierre was formerly the President of popular eyewear company Luxottica Group, owner of the famous Ray Ban and Oakley brands. Three years ago, Pierre came to Austin and decided to relocate and make the city his permanent address.
“I enjoyed the vibe and energy and I love the authenticity of Austin”, Fay said. That’s all it took for the couple to stay in Austin and start Starling Eyewear. ” I thought it was a huge opportunity to come up with a new concept like Starling which is high quality, very fashionable eyewear, at a reasonable price and a fun way to buy.” Pierre added. The couple officially launched during ACL and participated in the Full Tilt Fashion Show at the W during F1 Weekend. See photos here from the Runway.
Isabelle Fay is no stranger to the fashion business. She formerly worked in Paris on the Lanvin fabric design team and is inspired mostly by color. “The glasses are a nice and fun accessory. You need a couple of pairs for the day and a couple for the night and then two more for the sun.” said Isabelle.
When you see the collection you will also notice many of the frames are two-toned adding another fun and fashionable dimension to the frames.
The most fun part for Isabelle is not so much designing the eyewear, but it’s something else. “It’s seeing people wearing our frames and loving them and loving the colors and wanting to have more to coordinate with their outfits. This is what I really enjoy, making people feel happy and feel good about themselves”, added Isabelle.
If being ec0-friendly is important to you, then you’ll love this: Starling frames are handcrafted using Mazzucchelli Italian acetate, an organic plastic made from cotton that allows for sturdier, more lustrous and aesthetically superior frames to drugstore readers.
If you’re asking yourself “how do I get my prescription added to the frames?” Well, no problem. Starling has partnered with an optical company to add your prescription with ease. If you also opt for a ready-made lens you can select from a wide-range of options. The new Starling multi-focal lens design allows readers to be worn all day and keeps wearers from showing their age by needing to perch the eyewear at the end of the nose to do things like read a book or a menu. Multi-focal lens design is also ideal for outdoor use as sunglasses. This allows the sunglasses to be worn all day with no correction for far vision and it adds power for near vision. This means no more needing to stack sunglasses on top of readers.
Austin welcomes Pierre and Isabelle Fay to the growing fashion community and may the Eyes of Texas success be upon Starling Eyewear.