MILAN — Alessandro Dell'Acqua has signed a five-year licensing agreement with Allison SpA for the production and distribution of a branded eyewear collection.
The agreement is in line with the strategy to expand the brand's visibility and grow its business around the world.
"Licenses are a tremendous asset when there are the right synergies with the licensee," said Manlio Cocchini, chairman of Luxembourg-based holding group Redlux, which controls the Dell'Acqua brand. "In addition to boosting the company's bottom line, this license will help us internationalize the brand and expand its product offer as we work on developing its ready-to-wear core business."
The eyewear line will make its debut for fall 2007 at Paris' international eyewear trade exhibition Silmo and comprises 16 sun and 14 vision models. The men's division will bow on the runway during the designer's show in Milan at the end of the month.
Although Cocchini underscored the fact that the collection's success will also depend on the "credibility of the brand's new project," he said he expected the license to generate sales of 20 million euros, or $26.9 million at current exchange rates, in four years. The agreement replaces a previous deal with Visibilia, which expired at the end of last year.
The executive said the "strength of the partnership lies on sharing the same values" with Allison, whose know-how, experienced management and distribution network were "extremely valid."
The Padova-based Allison inked agreements with Moschino this spring and, in December, with Benetton. The company also has licenses with Gianfranco Ferré, Vivienne Westwood, Missoni, John Richmond, Dunhill, Mercedes-Benz, Dirk Bikkembergs and Roberta di Camerino. Allison estimates it will have group sales of 130 million euros, or $175.2 million, this year, up from 6 million euros, or $8 million, seven years ago.
The collection will be in line with Dell'Acqua's sensual and feminine designs: red, white or purple acetate frames with retro, dark lenses combined with striped patterns in white, black and flesh hues, or lace details on the arms in a red, white and peacock palette. An ad campaign focused on the category — a new development for the brand — will bow in October.In addition to the Dell'Acqua and Borbonese businesses, Redlux controls Italian accessories company Redwall, footwear brand Francesca Mambrini and clothing manufacturer Cherrygrove, a holding firm originally put together by the Arpels Group. Redlux acquired these companies last year. Cocchini said he expects Dell'Acqua to register sales of 12 million to 13 million euros in 2007, or $16.1 million to $17.5 million, up 30 percent compared with last year.
The brand also has a fragrance license with Euroitalia, a license with Ballin for a women's shoe line and one with Zengarini for a men's shoes line. An innerwear collection is in the cards.
Cocchini said in March that he wanted to triple the designer's business in the U.S., which currently accounts for 8 percent of sales, by entering into a partnership with Ellegi Inc., which will distribute the Dell'Acqua brand in North and South America and manage the brand's flagship on Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
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