Direct-to-consumer is all the rage at the moment when it comes to e-commerce and fashion, and while the trend is largely the result of upstarts based in the US, Dutch eyewear startup Ace & Tate has boldly decided to enter the fray.
If you’re thinking this particular story sounds familiar, you’d be right to think so, and you’ve probably witnessed Warby Parker’s rapid ascent over the last 2 years, which explains the familiar feel. As a direct-to-consumer eyewear company, and first on the map, Warby has been killing it, to be sure. But until now, they haven’t exactly had a worthy opponent.
Designed in Amsterdam and made by hand at an 150-year-old family operated workshop in Northern Italy, Ace & Tate offers both men’s and women’s opticals and sunglasses in classic European styles for around $145. The name Ace & Tate is a play on cellulose acetate, the material used to created their frames, and one of the features that sets the brand’s product line apart are lenses that are scratch resistant, anti-reflective, and UV shielded. The company ships you up to 4 samples to try on at home before choosing the pair that you want, and there’s also a virtual try on option that allows you to upload a photo of your own face. And with killers like the Baker in cognac, or the Fox in matte beige, it’s difficult to make a bad choice.
As a brand that decided to tackle the consolidated, high-priced eyewear market by creating affordable, premium eyewear with a classic aesthetic, the Ace & Tate business model isn’t anything we haven’t seen before at this point. That said, the brand has a great assembly of frames available, so if you’re looking for an alternative to the Warby Parker frames your friends are all rocking, Ace & Tate is worthwhile option.