MILAN — Isabel Marant is unveiling its first eyewear assortment in a licensing settlement with Safilo Group, which indicators an elevated consideration to a neighborhood buyer, based on Angelo Trocchia, chief government officer of the Italian producer.
“Luxury will always be a segment affluent consumers will gravitate toward, but there are business opportunities available through licenses that have a different scale and that have a local significance and value,” Trocchia defined.
Safilo’s aim, he continued, is “not just to tick off a brand,” and add licenses to its present pool. Zeroing in on “a clear consumer target or geographic need” is more and more key.
Case in level, Isabel Marant’s assortment of sun shades and optical frames, which launches for spring 2021, embodies the model’s “Parisian aesthetic, with a recognizable and sophisticated style and French creativity,” Trocchia noticed. Leveraging “a strong connection between Safilo’s design team and the fashion house allowed to translate the essence of the brand into the glasses — which is the beauty of the challenge.”
The assortment, below a 10-year licensing settlement, contains a variety of timeless shapes crafted in skinny acetate and enhanced by distinctive particulars, such because the model’s signature Silver Leaf as a steel trim on the entrance or leaf- formed nose-pads. The chiseled wire-core is subtly seen by means of the bilayer acetate of the temples, and the Isabel Marant emblem sits on the exterior left temple. The end-tip is formed as a leaf.
The assortment can be launched with an advert marketing campaign starring Rebecca Leigh photographed by Juergen Teller.
Trocchia stated he believes “the consumer wants more and more to be treated as a person — in fact, I don’t really like the term consumer,” and that, accordingly, he sees the regional and native dimension as one which Safilo have to be extra attentive to.
This means the plan is to keep away from an indiscriminate distribution of the Isabel Marant assortment. Trocchia expressed confidence the road would deliver sturdy enterprise within the first yr within the U.Okay. and North Europe, along with France. He additionally pointed to potential development within the United Arab Emirates and different areas of the Middle East. The assortment can be distributed within the U.S. in a second section.
Another instance of this technique is the 10-year licensing settlement signed final yr with Ports 1961, whose distribution was introduced as restricted to mainland China.
“This license is very important for the development of that region for Safilo. Chinese consumers will always be well-disposed toward major luxury brands, but I am convinced that they will be increasingly more sensitive to Chinese brands in Asia,” contended Trocchia. Similarly to Isabel Marant, that license provides a geographic alternative and the potential to develop a particular buyer cluster.
“China is a key strategic market in our development plans, and we know how important it is for eyewear brands to be locally relevant to their target groups, especially in China, which is very specific, not only in terms of fitting but also with distinct tastes and local consumer trends,” Trocchia stated.
Safilo’s license with Levi Strauss & Co. for the design, manufacturing and distribution of Levi’s branded eyewear collections, efficient January 2020, responds to a different enterprise technique, catering to Millennials and Gen Zers all around the world, permitting the corporate the chance to develop within the up to date market section.
Safilo has been working to revamp a brand new portfolio shortly — an “increasingly key quality,” Trocchia stated, because the eyewear trade has gone by means of main shake-ups, together with the creation of a three way partnership between LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Marcolin, known as Thélios, to supply eyewear collections for manufacturers below the umbrella of the French big luxurious group.
This yr marks the exit of the profitable Dior model, whereas the exit of the Fendi label is anticipated in June. In specific, the group has been re-balancing its steady of proprietor and licensed manufacturers. This nonetheless, Trocchia cautioned, doesn’t imply a retreat from licenses, which “remain fundamental.” Safilo produces and distributes eyewear for labels starting from DB Eyewear by David Beckham, Missoni, Marc Jacobs and Moschino to Tommy Hilfiger and Under Armour, just lately launched within the U.S.
Safilo’s owned manufacturers, starting from the eponymous label, Polaroid, Smith and Carrera to Blenders Eyewear and Privé Revaux ought to account for greater than 50 % in 2024, and Trocchia stated he expects to succeed in that focus on forward of that date.
As reported, Safilo revenues final yr amounted to 780.3 million euros, a 16.9 % drop in contrast with 939 million euros within the earlier yr.
In the fourth quarter, gross sales grew 3 % at fixed trade to 225.6 million euros (falling by 2.1 % at present trade), as its Chinese enterprise greater than tripled within the final quarter of the yr.
The current acquisitions of Blenders Eyewear and Privé Revaux additionally boosted the group’s on-line operations, with on-line enterprise rising 175.5 % in 2020 versus 2019.
Overall, Safilo has been specializing in its digital transformation, its direct-to-consumer technique and growing its share of business-to-business.