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While its client roster may prove diverse — from high-end Europeans to classic Americans, sports and technical styles to Mickey Mouse — Marchon gives every pot its cover. Here’s a look at the company’s stable of licensees.
This story first appeared in the July 1, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Number of styles at time of launch: 22
Karl on eyewear: “Dark glasses are like portable eye shadow, and the world looks more beautiful through tinted glasses,” Lagerfeld said.
Color me happy: Lagerfeld’s color scheme of red, black, tortoise and white is intended to fit everyone.
How the partnership came to fruition: “I met with Al Berg in 2006 in New York,” said Laudomia Pucci. “He has a liking for Pucci and was charmed by this brand. We met with his team in the Pucci archives and they saw the strong potential.”
The look: Fun, flirty and very Italian. Pucci’s signature prints are incorporated into temple designs and so on.
Defining moment: When Pucci eyewear accompanied a runway look for spring 2007.
How the partnership came to fruition: “The partnership was a result of mutual interest from both sides,” said a spokeswoman for Coach. “It allowed Coach to further strengthen our positioning as a lifestyle brand.”
Number of styles produced each year: 26
The look: Under the tutelage of Coach president and executive creative director Reed Krakoff, the look is fun, pretty and optimistic. The classic Coach signatures such as the turn lock, monogram logo and the new Legacy stripe are incorporated into the frames.
Bestsellers: The Samantha is a top seller. The Addison, Taryn and Marilyn styles aren’t far behind.
How the partnership came to fruition: While visiting his personal optician, Calvin Klein mentioned he was looking for an eyewear licensee and was considering several companies. His optician suggested Marchon.
Why the relationship is unique: “From the beginning, Mr. Klein had a true appreciation for the eyewear category and the business has grown consistently since launch,” said a spokeswoman for Calvin Klein. “Marchon is a terrific partner and works to ensure that the products, the marketing materials and the sales team are the best in the business. Today, the relationship between the companies continues to be very supportive.”
Extensions: Marchon creates eyewear for Calvin Klein Collection, ck and Calvin Klein white label.
The look: Similar to adult frames. As market research has shown, kids want to look like grown-ups. But pink and purple still sells for little girls. Frames don’t include animated characters, but do reference them, as in the Disney Princess line, which has “fairly dust” sprinkled on the temples in a nod to Tinkerbell.
Defining moment: Young celebrities like Bindi Irwin love the line.
Oscar de la Renta
Launched: 2004, with Allure, Marchon’s private label division.
The look: Elegant, refined, what a quintessential Oscar lady would wear. Jeweled frames and feminine styles are prevalent in the collection.
Amount of frames produced per year: About 100,000.
Extensions: There is also an O Oscar eyewear line.
How the partnership came to fruition: In an unexpected brush with celebrity, Berg received a call from Sean Combs, personally.
The look: The shades go from glam oversize white plastic frames with a drop temple and scripted logo to a modern, vintage-inspired aviator. Most frames are unisex, which was one of Combs’ requirements.
Defining moment: When Combs put away his huge stash of designer frames and started to wear his own brand — exclusively.
How the partnership came to fruition: Kors chief executive John Idol and Berg go way back. So when it came time to expand the Kors repertoire, Marchon was the go-to for eyewear.
The look: Jet-set, high glamour — from the Jackie O oversize plastics to sleek, metallic aviators in a plethora of colors.
Bestseller: MKS101 is the iconic aviator for men and women. Kors himself is rarely seen without them.
Girls love Michael: Kors doles out personalized frames to his closest celebrity friends. Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner all have the MKS526 frame with the inscription “XOXO Michael” in the designer’s handwriting.
Launched: 1990 in the Western hemisphere; global license signed in 2005.
Frames produced per year: More than a million.
The look: Artisanal, with limited edition hand-painted or hand-studded frames. The double-F logo is prominent throughout.
Keeping busy: Fendi is a crowd-pleaser at international eyewear trade shows, such as Mido in Milan, Silmo in Paris, Vision Expo East in New York, Vision Expo West in Las Vegas and IOFT in Tokyo.
Most influential fan: Oprah Winfrey wears a style from her enormous selection of Fendi sunglasses almost everywhere.
How the partnership came to fruition: Harvey Sanders, former chairman and chief executive of Nautica Enterprises, introduced Marchon ceo Al Berg to Nautica and they decided to form a partnership.
The look: Sport technology fused with fashion. Since the brand is all about the water, all lenses are polarized for maximum visibility on the water.
Number of styles produced this year: There are 13 new sun styles and 20 new optical styles for 2008.
Bestseller: The Auckland aviator.
Point of difference: With Nike, Marchon entered the Sport Optics business, creating eyewear for athletes of all kinds — from runners to cyclists.
Technological advantage: Developed Nike Max lens technology used in sunglasses and Flexon in Nike frames.