By  on March 4, 2011

MILAN — Tom Ford International is set to take its eyewear to the next level.

The American designer and Marcolin Group said Thursday they have renewed their current licensing agreement for the design, production and worldwide distribution of Tom Ford optical frames and sunglasses through December 2022.

The original agreement was signed in 2005.

Maurizio Marcolin, style and licensing director for the Marcolin Group, said the contract was renewed well ahead of its expiration date in 2015 because of the brand’s strong sales since the products were introduced in October 2005 and the desire on both sides to plan long term.

“Marcolin is an exceptional manufacturer and partner. The extension is a natural result of the excellent relationship that we have had over the past six years,” said Ford.

Although he declined to break out figures, Marcolin said Tom Ford eyewear is carried in around 12,000 points of sale worldwide. “It’s still a selective distribution compared to similar brands; we don’t plan to win over the competition by over-distribution,” he said.

To this effect, Marcolin said the Italian group plans to grow Ford’s business through geographical expansion including new markets such as China and bolstering market share in existing territories, particularly in the U.S. The recent launch of Tom Ford’s women’s wear collection — introduced at retail last month — is also set to ramp up the brand’s eyewear business, according to Marcolin. “We were selling women’s eyewear before Tom launched his women’s wear collection, but now we can showcase it through his own distribution network to drive additional sales,” he said.

Plans are also underfoot to expand the existing optical frames side of the business, added Marcolin.

In 2010, the publicly listed Italian eyewear company produced around 5 million pairs of glasses in more than 600 styles. In addition to Ford, Marcolin’s portfolio includes Dsquared2, Kenneth Cole, Tod’s, Hogan, Web Eyewear, Cover Girl, John Galliano, Roberto Cavalli, Just Cavalli, Replay, Miss Sixty, Swarovski and Timberland.

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