J!NS Comes to San Francisco

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to an event at the new JINS store in San Francisco. JINS is an eyewear brand that specializes in glasses that are inexpensive and can be filled with prescriptions quickly, and their new SF store represents their first location in the States. I had heard a bit about the brand recently from other blogger friends, so I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about what this company does.

Located right next to the San Francisco Uniqlo on Powell St, JINS is another Japanese brand that’s offering competitively priced products that punch above their weight class (the two brands are not affiliated – I had to ask because there were so many similarities). JINS has a very broad selection of eyewear and sunglasses, and all of the frames are designed in their Tokyo HQ. In another trait similar to Uniqlo, JINS tends to have a constant stream of new styles coming into the store throughout the year.

One of the most impressive things about JINS is their ability to fill a prescription in about 30 minutes. They keep a good stock of lenses for most prescriptions on site, and have a big robot called Kanna that will carve out your lenses while you watch. Another great aspect of JINS eyewear is the pricing and lack of upcharges – frames are from $60-$120, all lenses are aspheric, and there are no additional charges for high index lenses (this means that all lenses will be fairly thin, whether you have a light or strong prescription). Even the eyewear darling Warby Parker charges more for these things.

Now, I will say that there are many eyewear styles at JINS that likely won’t appeal to the ‘hashtag menswear’ crowd, but even so there is definitely a collection of classic styles like the P3 style ones above (some readers may remember my fondness for P3s). I was given the opportunity to try out a free pair and opted for the P3 frames in a clear acetate, as it was a style I’ve been curious about for a while. I was given the 1.67-index frames for my hefty prescription at no additional charge, and the glasses were fitted to my face after the lenses were produced. All in all, it was a pretty simple process – all I needed was a signed prescription card and a little bit of time.

In terms of quality, my initial reactions are that these are about on par with my frames from Warby Parker (some of the more entry level ones looked a bit flimsier, but then again, the prices are lower as well). The speed and included high-index frames are a big plus as well. I’m going to continue wearing these as my backup pair around the house and look forward to getting to know them better in the coming months. if you’re in the Bay Area and are in the market for inexpensive and quick glasses, then JINS is definitely worth exploring.