For the inaugural edition of The Essentials — in which notable folks in their industry show us the five items that make them tick — we caught up with the two co-founders and co-CEOs of Warby Parker. In three short years Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa have upended the eyeglass industry by offering fashion-forward prescription lenses and frames by mail (and more recently, in a handful of brick-and-mortar locations) for under $100. Madness. Neil Blumenthal
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GEAR: Nike Air Max 1 London QS - $96 This particular pair is an homage to London (as part of their Hometown Turf series) and features a snazzy label on the tongue and interior. Blumenthal - Can't go wrong with the classic. Continue Reading
TECH: Nike Nike+ Fuelband SE - $149 As we've mentioned before, Nike's latest wrist-worn activity tracker is a flashy beast, with an overhauled app that tracks specific movements and related data with more accuracy, while serving as a handy sleep monitor through the night. Blumenthal - An incredibly easy and intuitive way to keep track of each day's physical activity. It makes me feel less lazy than I am.
RIDES: Citibike - $95/year Its success isn't so surprising considering how convenient it makes picking up a set of wheels in a city where parking and safe bike-locking is at a premium. And frankly, riding one may even be safer than driving with kamikaze cabbies. Blumenthal - It's a great way for me to clear my head before work. It's also been great for the city as a huge number of people have adapted this new form of urban transportation. Employees at Warby Parker receive discounted Citibike memberships, and a ton of people have started biking to and from work.
HOME: Harry's Winston Razor - $20 Fashioned from a lightweight aluminum alloy similar to that found in jet wings, the ergonomic handle on this guy's designed to feel like an extension of your hand, much like a top-notch pen or kitchen knife. Blumenthal - Warby Parker Co-Founder Jeff Raider launched Harry's to bring down the cost of high-quality razors and make them better looking than most mainstream options (no neon, for starters). It's a really great razor, and you can't mess with German engineering.
VICE: Real Housewives of New Jersey - $YourDignity Um... ? Blumenthal - I can't defend this preference. I'm not proud of it.
GEAR: hard graft Flat Pack/Heritage Laptop Bag - $370+ The handsome, hyper-minimalist briefcase-messenger hybrid is sized perfectly to carry just the essentials. Gilboa - It's effective, well-designed, and goes with me everywhere.
TECH: Mophie Juice Pack Air - $100 There's a reason this backup battery case is one of the most popular out there. It's slim and packs enough power to keep your iPhone charged from early mornings to late nights, no matter what comes in between. Gilboa - Protects and charges my phone at the same time, eliminating two problems with one product. A travel essential.
RIDES: CitiBike 700 Series (Black) - $500 A commuter's dream, this sturdy set of wheels sports racks up front and in back, making it ideal for lugging crap around the town without looking like a bogged down deliveryman. Gilboa - Biking is one of the fastest ways to get around Manhattan, and Biria's CitiBike works equally well on flat downtown streets and the (slightly) hillier terrain in Central Park.
HOME: Custom Cindy De Losa Shadowbox - $NA Each of this Bay Area artist's intricate dioramas incorporate collectible "Homies" mini figures dressed up and posed in unique situations that depict the life and culture familiar to her childhood. To really appreciate them you should see one up close. Gilboa - They bring whole neighborhoods to life in a small space.