By  on October 14, 2011

NEW YORK — Tumi will launch its first eyewear collection through a license with REM Eyewear.

The travel accessory brand has signed a four-year deal with the eyewear group for the design and distribution of eyewear starting with the introduction of the Traverso collection of 12 sunglass styles in January, followed by 10 optical styles in March.

Inspired by famous bridges around the world and meaning “to traverse” or cross over, Traverso is in a predominantly red and black color palette matching Tumi’s colors and includes styles that are named Bixby, Brooklyn, Tacoma, Kawazu and Stari.

According to REM’s chief executive officer Mike Hundert, the company spent more than two years in product development on the frames, which include elements such as lightweight carbon fiber temples with red epoxy tips for additional comfort, custom flex double hinges and cast metal temple tips with silicone rings for style and grip, inspired by Tumi zipper pulls. The glasses also feature Tumi leather wrapped temples, acid etched designs on stainless steel and polarized lenses for the sunglasses collection.

“Designing Tumi was a natural process, as we took direct inspiration from their strong brand DNA. We used elements such as the zipper pulls and the graphic red and black color palette, to integrating luxurious fabric textures and ballistic nylon into the frames. My architectural background was certainly put to use as we collaborated on these sophisticated, tectonic designs,” said REM Eyewear’s creative director Nicolas Roseillier.

Included in the optical range are Compatto reading glasses, comprised of photochromic lenses that change from clear to tinted when exposed to sunlight. A locking nosepiece (with a patent pending) enables the temples to fold and lock inside the bridge, resulting in an ultra-thin profile that the wearer can slip into their bag or pocket.

Sunglasses will retail for $225 to $295 and opticals for $225 to $275.

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