Isabel Marant launches eyewear line with Safilo
Isabel Marant is broadening its product range to include a fully fledged eyewear line. The French women's ready-to-wear label was founded by the eponymous designer in 1994, and in 2018 it diversified into menswear. Isabel Marant made a first foray into eyewear in 2014, through a collaboration with Californian producer Oliver Peoples, and it is now further extending its range, having signed a worldwide licence deal with Italian manufacturer Safilo.
The 10-year deal covers “the design, manufacture and distribution of Isabel Marant sunglasses and optical frames.” As the two companies indicated in a joint press release, “the first Isabel Marant [eyewear] items will be launched with the Spring/Summer 2021 collection.”
This is a new, significant step in the label’s development, and designer Isabel Marant didn’t hesitate to describe “this first licence agreement” as an “exciting challenge.”
In 2017, investment fund Montefiore acquired a 51% stake in the French label, which generates a revenue in excess of €150 million. Isabel Marant herself holds the remaining 49%. The partnership with Montefiore has enabled Isabel Marant to step up the pace of its expansion, notably by launching an e-shop and opening a number of stores, at a rate of about 10 each year.
Isabel Marant currently operates 50 monobrand stores, and is also distributed via 600 multibrand retailers. The company has a staff of 470, and this year it plans to open new stores in Bordeaux, Marseilles, Lille, Hangzhou, Sao Paulo, Moscow, Sydney and Stockholm.
“We will focus on reflecting the brand’s distinctive Parisian style through its eyewear collections to appeal to women both in France and throughout the world, and expand the brand in this important product category,” said the CEO of Safilo, Angelo Trocchia.
Eyewear group Safilo is controlled by Dutch investment fund HAL, and has a number of fashion labels in its licence portfolio, including Elie Saab, Hugo and Boss, Jimmy Choo, Levi's, Max Mara, Missoni, Moschino and Pierre Cardin.
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