In September 2023, Sunglass Hut announced a groundbreaking collaboration with Ready Player Me. This collaboration introduces digital sunglasses that allow users to accessorize their avatars, setting a new standard in eyewear that merges virtual worlds and physical retail. Clients only need to scan a QR code on the SmartShopper digital screens inside retail locations to redeem virtual Ray-Ban and Oakley popular models for their Ready Player Me avatars.
General manager Giorgio Pradi explains that the partnership is “a pioneering initiative” that demonstrates the brand’s commitment to innovation. This, however, is just one example of how Sunglass Hut continues to lead the way in the eyewear industry, not only in the United States but around the world. Let’s take a closer look below.
A global eyewear icon
With a legacy dating back to 1971, Sunglass Hut has firmly established its global presence with over 2,000 retail outlets across the world. In locations like the bustling streets of New York, Sunglass Hut stores at Herald Square or Queens Boulevard have become synonymous with chic style and the ultimate in eye protection.
In 1998, Sunglass Hut added the ability to purchase sunglasses to its US website. This move allowed customers to explore an extensive range of eyewear options from the comfort of their homes. The catalog hosts an array of models that cater to diverse preferences, with Sunglass Hut’s prescription sunglasses offerings including the online-limited Wayfarer Classic of Ray-Ban and even Prada’s Linea Rossa. This increases the accessibility of the brand while catering to the diverse preferences of discerning shoppers.
Meanwhile, Sunglass Hut’s commitment to staying at the forefront of style and technology dates back to as early as 2009. Here, in-store photo booths known as “Social Sun” allowed customers to share pictures online of their shopping experience. This was just the beginning of Sunglass Hut’s journey into the digital age.
Embracing reality technology in style
One of Sunglass Hut’s recent remarkable strides in the tech-driven fashion landscape is the introduction of its virtual reality store. This cutting-edge concept was unveiled in June 2022, as result of a partnership with Emperia, a virtual reality technology developer. Named Sunglass Hut Utopia, the virtual store presents a unique blend of gaming and try-on technology. It offers an immersive experience for customers, allowing them to explore and virtually try on exclusive summer eyewear from renowned brands such as Prada, Burberry, Versace, Michael Kors, Oakley, and Ray-Ban.
As part of the virtual shopping experience, customers are encouraged to collect all six featured products, with the promise of a free gift with the purchase of one of the exclusive styles. With a virtual sun counting down to the Summer Solstice on June 21, Sunglass Hut Utopia enhanced the excitement with a special reward on the awaited day. This initiative not only engages customers but also reflects Sunglass Hut’s commitment to innovation, creating a unique blend of fashion, technology, and gaming.
Staying relevant through collaborations
Sunglass Hut’s journey in leading the way in style extends beyond technology to intriguing collaborations. Way back in 2010, they organized the Full-time Fabulous contest, which brought New Yorker Kristy Elena into the limelight as the winner. This contest celebrated individual style and provided a platform for budding fashion bloggers.
In 2023, Sunglass Hut will continue to connect with its clients through relevant partnerships. Their recent collaboration with nonbinary artist Dua Saleh allowed the brand to make use of Saleh’s unique take on fashion, incorporating ’90s-inspired minimalism and gender-neutral workwear, and curate a selection of sunglasses that embraced nonconforming avenues of expression.
With a history spanning over half a century, Sunglass Hut stays true to its mission of providing unique and engaging experiences for its customers. Thus, as the importance of preserving eye health increases in the face of evolving challenges, look towards Sunglass Hut’s offerings. When combining the usage of Sunglass Hut’s sunglasses with healthy habits like the consumption of Summer Foods and Nutrients like peppers and sunflower seeds, you can secure your eye health for the next several decades to come.