Warby Parker mashes up glasses and philanthropy
(CBS News) Citing glasses technology as so "ridiculously expensive," Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa founded Warby Parker - an online eyewear company where glasses frames retail for $95.
"It's technology that's been around for 800 years, and it didn't make any sense to us that glasses should cost any more than an iPhone," Gilboa said Monday on "CBS This Morning."
Blumenthal and Gilboa, the company's co-founders and CEOs, got the idea in business school to bypass the middleman. "What if we could design the frames we love, use the best materials out there, but then sell them direct to consumers through WarbyParker.com at a fraction of the price?" Blumenthal said.
So how does it work? "We came up with this idea to do this home try-on where you can select five pairs of frames, we'll ship it to you free of cost, with no obligation to buy, and you have five days to try it on at home," Blumenthal said.
After just two years, Warby Parker is known as one of the most innovative fashion brands around. Its business model includes donating a pair of glasses for every pair it sells.
"Glasses are having a fashion moment where people really are recognizing that they are a powerful form of self expression," Gilboa said. "The type of glasses that you wear really say a lot about who you are as a person."
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