Sunglass Hut is taking its partnership with actress Rachel Bilson, who was anointed its style director last year, worldwide just as the Luxottica Group SpA-owned retailer’s global footprint is swelling.
Launching with the reboot this month of her blog on Sunglass Hut’s Web site in which she fields reader questions, conducts interviews and offers style advice, Bilson’s larger role means Sunglass Hut shoppers in the U.K., China, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, China and the Philippines, in addition to the United States, will see her in in-store imagery and perhaps in public appearances, as well. Financial terms of her Sunglass Hut contract were not disclosed.
The expansion of Bilson’s role is one of many pieces that Sunglass Hut has put in place to elevate its global presence. Stores are the most critical — and they are multiplying rapidly. At the end of last year, Sunglass Hut had 2,295 stores and that number is now up to 2,800, and projected to reach 4,000 by 2015. In February, the retailer acquired 70 stores in Mexico under the Stanza and High Tech nameplates that are being rebranded to Sunglass Hut under the regional leadership of a team being assembling in Brazil, where Sunglass Hut is slated to open 15 stores by the end of the year.
In May, Sunglass Hut owner Luxottica Group also announced its accelerated takeover of Multiopticas Internacional, operator of 470 South American stores. Its unclear if any of those stores will be converted to Sunglass Hut locations, but the chain has been planting its flagships in key markets across the world.
Sunglass Hut’s record 2010 results have provided motivation for the global push. Last year, the retailer registered an 8.4 percent same-store sales hike worldwide, and an 11.1 percent same-store sales jump in North America. For the first quarter of this year, the chain’s same-store sales climbed 7.9 percent worldwide and notched a double-digit gain in North America, according to the latest financial results released by Luxottica.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty