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Carrera Hosts Retrospective in New York

The exhibit at 5 Beekman in the Financial District kicks off a major push for the Italian eyewear brand in the U.S.

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NEW YORK — Carrera will kick off a major brand push in the U.S. tonight.

This story first appeared in the May 7, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Carrera Ignition Night, to be held at 5 Beekman in the Financial District here, will be a retrospective exhibit showcasing the 57-year-old brand’s heritage of fashion and music, as well as a vehicle to showcase its newest eyewear. The company hosted the first of six events for the brand in Milan March 2, followed by Madrid and São Paulo. Fetes in London and Beijing will take place in June and September.

“It is a well established brand, particularly in Europe — and we have started to work hard about it in the Americas,” Safilo chief executive officer Roberto Vedovotto told WWD. He said Europe makes up 60 percent of the brand’s overall business, followed by the U.S. and Latin America with 30 percent and Asia with 10 percent. Brazil and Mexico are seeing the fastest growth.

Among the initiatives that will take place this year: a redesigned Web site that went live April 15 at carreraworld.com, the rollout of a new display advertising program, amped up social and digital media, designer collaborations (the capsule collection Carrera by Jimmy Choo will be available for the fall season) and strategic product placement in Ron Howard’s “Rush,” which comes out in September.

“We want to expand the consumer target — and we want to cover all segments of the market,” he said of the brand, which saw a relaunch here in the U.S. in 2008. “The idea of announcing this presence and making it even bigger is that we believe that we’ve developed a very segmented collection with four different design philosophies.”

The Icon collection is based on iconic silhouettes throughout the past six decades; Muse is more sophisticated in design and what Vedovotto describes as “the real bridge between the past and future of Carrera”; Craze contains contemporary trends, and Active contains performance eyewear.

Safilo Group SpA’s sales in the three months ended March 31 saw a 12.1 percent increase in net profit, which reached 13.4 million euros, or $17.7 million, versus 12 million euros, or $15.7 million, for the same period in 2012. Revenues climbed to 297 million euros, or $392 million.

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