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How Entrepreneurs with Social Vision Secured Venture Capital VCs help sharpen Warby Parker's focus on the eyeglass industry.

By Gwen Moran Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Fashion-forward friends Neil Blumenthal, David Gilboa, Andrew Hunt and Jeffrey Raider aren't your bargain-basement eyewear types. The four University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of business alumni always preferred designer frames and lenses that ran about $500 per pair--a fact they lamented.

"Most glasses are marked up between 10 and 20 times what they cost to manufacture, and that just didn't make any sense to us," Blumenthal says. So they set out to refocus the industry.

The four started New York-based company Warby Parker (named for literary iconoclast Jack Kerouac's characters Zagg Parker and Warby Pepper) and set out to design, manufacture and distribute high-quality eyeglasses that would compete with those of major designers, with a retail price of only $95.

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