MILAN — Subtly branded, volume-heavy eyewear presented in a new show space was the backdrop to this month's Mido fair, where industry executives said the outlook was sunny.
Exhibitors said 2007 was shaping up to be another record year, even as they used the four-day fair ended May 7 to launch a slew of licenses and other ventures.
"There's still room to grow. Our strategy for the year will be to become the leader in new markets and win more market share in existing ones," said Vittorio Tabacchi, chairman of the Safilo Group, who added the firm would unveil a men's and women's Banana Republic eyewear line in November.
Mido was moved from its city fairgrounds location to the suburban exhibition space of Rho-Pero for the first time, and many exhibitors capitalized on the shift to redesign their booths.
The eyewear industry continues to power on. Italian eyewear exports last year grew 18.2 percent to 2.07 billion euros, or $2.81 billion, according to Italian eyewear association ANFAO, and the forecast for the first quarter of 2007 is a 13 percent gain compared with the same period in 2006.
Trends at the fair saw discreet brand motifs in place of splashy designer names on large, squared-off, flat-fronted lenses. White plastic frames were featured in the Calvin Klein, Roberto Cavalli and Ray-Ban collections, set off against glossy black, cobalt blue and pearl pink models. Eccentric cat's-eye and circular shapes reminiscent of the Fifties were prevalent in prescription and sunglass frames by Miu Miu and Tom Ford.
Marcolin SpA showed 14 new styles for its Tom Ford eyewear collection, including a slender rectangular shape in pearl plastic and another prescription model mixing shiny rose gold metal and black plastic on the brow — both bearing the form of a horizontal "T" shape at the temples.
"We are still at the beginning of the Tom Ford brand," said Maurizio Marcolin, chief of style and licensing at Marcolin SpA. "Now we need to focus on increasing market share."
The company used Mido to introduce its line of Ferrari eyewear and confirmed a Tod's eyewear collection was expected to be unveiled at the end of the year.At Marchon's newly designed, cream-hued exhibition booth, space was reserved for Pucci's eyewear collection after it was revealed the Florence-based fashion brand had signed a license with the firm.
"The Pucci license will further expand our presence in Europe," said Andy Skitmore, senior vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Marchon.
After snagging the Polo Ralph Lauren eyewear license last year, Luxottica showed its first collection for the brand, highlighted by a unisex pair of circular flat-lens tortoiseshell frames. Luxottica was also gearing up for the launch of the Tiffany eyewear line slated for the beginning of 2008.
The Milan-based eyewear firm said last month its first-quarter results for 2007 rose to 1.3 billion euros, or $1.76 billion, a 6.7 percent jump over the same period in 2006. Fabio d'Angelantonio, marketing director of Luxottica, said the only challenge for the firm was the euro-dollar exchange rate, which had worsened this year. The strategy for increased growth in 2007, said d'Angelantonio, was a combination of wholesale and retail sales — coming from the firm's sunglass and optical chains Sunglass Hut and LensCrafters, which Luxottica plans to expand this year into new markets such as China, the Middle East, Hong Kong and South Africa.
Eyewear makers tapped fashion references from designer brands and integrated them into looks shown at Mido. Versace's Grecian frieze motif was etched into a pair of aviator temples, while Prada used its heritage seal in gold metal. Square-cut sequins adorned the temples of a Burberry sunglass frame — the stones were an important detail in the fashion house's spring 2007 ready-to-wear collection.
Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci had abstract brand name logos, while Bottega Veneta completely avoided references to its brand through a plastic gingham print design and a pair of aviators that had chocolate brown leather-bound bridge and temples.
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