Designer brands seeking growth are turning to eyewear to boost brand awareness and the bottom line.
Jimmy Choo, which in February was acquired by TowerBrook Capital Partners LP, an international private equity firm, has signed a worldwide partnership with the Italian eyewear firm Safilo Group SpA to produce and distribute Jimmy Choo sunglasses and prescription frames.
"We will have transition, easy-to-wear, fabulous modern shapes," said Choo founder and president Tamara Mellon, adding that the glasses would be branded with a logo or a signature piece of hardware from one of Jimmy Choo's more popular bags.
Sunglasses will launch in January, followed by the optical line, which will be introduced at Vision Expo East in March. The license agreement runs until 2015.
Safilo produces eyewear for brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Kate Spade and Marc Jacobs.
"Eyewear is really a natural for the brand," said Joshua Schulman, who was named chief executive officer of Jimmy Choo in April. "It can be an iconic sexy product that our customer can relate to really well. Our customer loves luxury and sexy products."
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