MILAN — A pioneer in developing the eyewear category from a functional to fashionable accessory, Giorgio Armani on Saturday marked the launch of the signature and Emporio Armani eyewear collections for spring under a new licensing agreement with Luxottica Group with an event here. To illustrate the value of the collections, which are handcrafted in Italy, Armani set up work stations at his Tadao Ando-designed theater with Luxottica artisans working on different stages of production.
Speaking after his Emporio show Sunday, Armani emphasized his personal relationship with Luxottica founder and chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio. “We both regretted we hadn’t continued growing together,” Armani told WWD. A first licensing agreement between the two Italian entrepreneurs dates back to 1988. Luxottica then lost the license to Safilo SpA, whose initial Armani collections came out in 2003. In June of last year, Armani and Luxottica, which owns the Oakley and Ray-Ban labels and holds eyewear licenses for brands such as Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Tiffany and Versace, revealed they had inked a new 10-year licensing agreement for the production and worldwide distribution of eyewear collections under the Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange brands to begin in January.
Armani recalled how he forged a path in designer-branded eyewear. He said the eyewear industry struggled to accept some of his intuitions about fashion — “round frames, for example. At the beginning, a lot of people didn’t understand them, but you must have the courage to say no to what sells and to imagine what could sell.” He also recalled how the relationship became fruitful once the responsibilities were clearly defined and Armani and Luxottica focused on either design or production.
Antonio Miyakawa, Luxottica’s vice president of marketing, style and design, said that after 25 years and sharing “a common success story,” the two are starting together again in a sector that “although more crowded and competitive now, still has great potential.”
Luxottica expects the Armani collections to do yearly revenues of 200 million euros, or $264.3 million at current exchange, after the initial launch period and once distribution has been rolled out across key geographies and channels.
Miyakawa said early 2013 data, particularly for North America, confirms excellent growth prospects. “We are totally committed to execute our plans in 2013 in all countries and for all our businesses,” he said. “There are big growth opportunities since this is an industry that is still young and we can expand the penetration in international markets.” He added that he believes “many of [Luxottica’s] businesses can grow more than 10 percent also in 2013, in emerging countries, for example.”
Giorgio Armani signature eyewear designs will retail for 170 to 250 euros, or $225 to $331, while more precious designs will have price tags of more than 600 euros, or $793. Emporio Armani designs will be priced between 110 and 150 euros, or $146 and $198.
Among the standout Giorgio Armani designs is the Kaleidoscope, with sequins and details inspired by the designer’s gowns.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)