Tory Burch is launching sunglasses under her five-year-old signature brand, and she understands a great pair of shades can make the glamour quotient soar.
Burch is often photographed wearing sunglasses, but the downside to having fabulous glasses is not having them anymore. “I lose sunglasses all the time and it’s very frustrating,” she said.
Tory Burch Eyewear, which launches in November, is priced from $135 to $195 at retail, in sync with the sportswear brand’s roots in accessibly priced fashion and accessories. Typically, luxury sunglasses range from $230 and up for brands such as Prada and Bulgari. Burch joins contemporary labels such as Diane von Furstenberg and Marc by Marc Jacobs that have expanded into eyewear.
The sunglasses are produced by Luxottica Group SpA, which holds a six-year license for the design, manufacture and global distribution of sunglasses and prescription frames. Ophthalmic frames will debut early next year.
“I spent a lot of time developing the lenses and frames,” Burch said. “We’re trying to push things to a different level.”
Inspired by icons such as James Dean, Peter Fonda and Faye Dunaway, as well as her parents’ trips to Greece, Istanbul and Morocco in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, Burch’s elegant and subtle frames run the gamut. There are modified plastic cat eye frames done in navy with a discreet gold logo at the temples, a shield frame with delicately studded leather temples and a collapsible frame that can fold neatly into an clutch.
Burch has also incorporated her iconic prints onto the lenses of a mirrored aviator model. One frame has an ombré effect, with colors graduating from transparent blue to green. Key colors in the collection, in addition to black and tortoise, are navy and olive green.
“It was a collaboration that was very organic,” Burch said of the firm’s first foray into licensing.
Tory Burch footwear is a result of a production partnership with the Camuto Group. Handbags and costume jewelry are produced in-house.
“Although these are difficult economic times, we continue to invest in areas in which we believe there is a void within the market,” said Pierre Fay, executive vice president of wholesale for Luxottica North America, which also makes Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co. and Dolce & Gabbana frames. “As today’s consumer still has a strong desire for luxury and name brands, we feel it’s more important than ever to offer the widest range of the best product and price ranges to our customers.
Fay declined to project sales for the line.
“It’s building out our lifestyle assortment,” said Brigitte Kleine, president of Tory Burch of launching eyewear. Kleine said the company is looking to expand into other categories through licenses, including fragrance, watches and costume jewelry, of which it produces a small amount in-house.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast