Stella in Eyewear Deal With Luxottica

Designer is boosting her lifestyle offerings with a new eyewear collection for spring.

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Stella McCartney is boosting her lifestyle offerings with a new eyewear collection for spring.

This story first appeared in the August 31, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The designer is collaborating with Luxottica Group, the Milan-based eyewear manufacturer. Retailing from $180 to $250, Stella McCartney eyewear is intended to be a combination of practical, everyday aviator and wayfarer styles mixed with statement pieces and attention-grabbing frames.

McCartney said her goal is to fuse timeless pieces with “edgier, younger, eye-catching styles….For me, it was important to make lightweight, comfortable sunglasses that are not a chore or cumbersome to wear. There are pieces to fall back on and wear any time of year in any place and pieces that will help you draw attention to yourself.”

The collection will bow at high-end department and specialty stores as well as at Ilori, the optical chain owned and operated by Luxottica Group.

“I’m keen on working with the biggest sunglass people in the world, and it’s a nice opportunity to work with those who are number one at what they do…yet are happy to try and change and think outside the box, and that’s very much what we do,” McCartney said.

Pierre Fay, Luxottica North America’s executive vice president of wholesale, said working with McCartney is an opportunity to delve into a smaller segment of the high-end sector. The firm also licenses eyewear for luxury brands such as Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Prada.

“Stella is the perfect fit with our roster of luxury brands, but more importantly it allows us to provide an offering for the more niche, fashion-forward consumer,” Fay said. “We are watching the market and listening very carefully to trends and making sure we identify with what’s important in the future. And we found that it’s important to provide a niche offering with fashion-forward styling.”

McCartney designed eyewear when she was creative director at Chloé. After launching her own label, she produced eyewear in a license with Safilo Group for five years before pairing up with Luxottica.

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