WWD Digital Daily
Dior Ups Eyewear Focus With First Dedicated Store
The brand is tightening its grip on distribution and positioning eyewear on par image-wise with its other categories.
PARIS — The days of designer frames being sold in high-street opticians are looking
opened its first boutique dedicated to eyewear.
It also marks a first for a couture house, the brand said.
The store’s prime location — on Avenue Montaigne here, next to the house’s historic
part of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton stable, is tightening its grip on eyewear distribution and positioning the category to be on par with the rest of its products in terms of brand image.
Proposing sunglasses and optical frames
the laboratory-bright, pint-sized space boasts a modern décor based around a sun motif. Features include white discs fitted with giant lenses overhead, and a mix of warm wood details and reflective glass surfaces. Makeup, leather pouches and logoed trunks for storing eyewear are also for sale.
The mono-product store reflects, as well, a trend among luxury brands to elevate, and personalize, customer service. At the a series of seismic shifts in the sector as France’s luxury groups look to take control back from the licensing giants.
Kering triggered the string of changes in
production and distribution in-house and set up a new dedicated entity. That move sent licensors scrambling to up their game and tighten relationships with brands and creative teams. The pressure was on to make eyewear lines an authentic extension
generic entry-level products with a logo.
Among other industry quakes, LVMH last year said it was creating a joint venture with Marcolin, dubbed Thelios, with its own, new dedicated facility in Longarone, Italy. LVMH so far has entrusted the design and manufacture of eyewear for the Céline brand to the entity, with the stated goal of Marcolin “becoming, in the future, the preferred partner” of the LVMH group in the eyewear business.
Firing its engines, Marcolin — which produces and distributes eyewear collections for brands including Tom Ford, Tod’s,
preparation for the joint venture’s creation
euros and issued a bond of 250 million euros, which is expected to mature in 2023.
As reported, LVMH will control 51 percent of the venture and Marcolin agreement, the French group is taking a 10 percent stake in Marcolin.
with the company already negatively
to 1.25 billion euros following the loss of certain licenses.
Safilo, which is due to report its preliminary 2017 figures next week, is focusing on proprietary brands Carrera and Polaroid, among others. Its global market share within luxury eyewear in terms of retail value is 8 percent, versus 70 percent for Luxottica, according to Euromonitor International.
As reported, Safilo’s licensing agreement with Céline expired at the end of 2017.
agreement for the design, production and
Homme collections of sunglasses and optical
according to Martin.
the brand’s stores as well as a select distribution of optical chains, a spokeswoman for Safilo said, declining to provide specifics.
Meanwhile, the eyewear industry in early 2017 was rocked by the announcement of
store could be read by some as more of an experiment than indicator of the way things are headed for the premium sector, “we might see a bit of polarization in terms of distribution,” Martin said.
“These high-street chain optical stores might gradually be focusing on high-street brands, mass and more affordable lines, with high-end product being sold more and more through the web sites of luxury groups or the luxury online retailers like Yoox, Net-a-porter or Farfetch, a more premium distribution,” he continued. The trend mirrors what’s going on with clothing, moving away from wholesale and closer to directly operated stores.