By  on August 2, 2010

MILAN — Tommy Hilfiger’s first eyewear collection by Safilo Group spans a number of moods, including vintage, sports and race cars, urban glamour and aviator chic.

“The design briefing was inspired by the preppy heritage of the brand with a modern, luxurious and fun spin. It’s all about the twist, and with Safilo we were to achieve it through unexpected details that are exclusive to the collection,” Tommy Hilfiger told WWD.

Thanks to a special technique, many acetate frames feature three layers that sandwich a range of colors, from nuances of browns and beiges to the brand’s iconic red, white and blue.

Metal and titanium frames complement the sun and prescription frames, which comprise more than 15 styles each.

Hilfiger's logo appears in numerous variations that range from the ubiquitous flag in enamel or as a metal outline to the name spelled out or etched in metal.

The flag also appears on the left inner tip, usually in rubber and sometimes in two-tonal combos. The double metal T end piece is also unique, as is the chunky tip. Pearlized treatments and polarized or mirrored lenses are also options.

A first-year sales forecast wasn’t available, but Roberto Vedovotto, chief executive officer of Safilo Group, said he has “great expectations” for this collection and said the forecast is “definitely promising.”

The worldwide rollout will take place over the next several months. Besides Hilfiger’s 1,000 stores, the eyewear will be showcased in select opticians, department stores and specialty shops.

In Europe, the optical frames will be available starting in September, while the sunglasses are planned for October, the same month when both collections will land in the Far East and in all of Hilfiger’s stores worldwide.

In the U.S., both sun and prescription frames will be introduced in January with the exception of the Tommy Hilfiger New York flagship, where the sunglasses will be sold starting Sept. 12, the day of the designer’s spring show and of his bash to fete his 25th anniversary.

Thirty percent of the sales from the celebratory pink and white sunglasses sold in the New York flagship will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The sunglasses will retail for $90 to $180, while the prescription frames range from $130 to $180.

The five-year licensing pact with Safilo Group was inked in December, replacing Hilfiger’s previous license with Viva International, which had expired.

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