NEW YORK — When the Louis Vuitton woman is heading off to various warm-weather ports of call this coming winter, she can pack her favorite outfit, monogram handbag, logo charm bracelet and now sunglasses.
After a teaser assortment of shades this spring, the Paris-based fashion house has officially launched the Louis Vuitton sunglass collection to coincide with its 2005/2006 cruise presentation.
"We believe it is important to launch the first complete collection at the same time as cruise, as it allows us to accessorize the ready-to-wear looks," said Jean-Louis Roblin, managing director of Louis Vuitton's sunglasses and jewelry.
Louis Vuitton designer Marc Jacobs first introduced sunglasses to the 151-year-old brand in April with a limited-edition collection developed in conjunction with rapper and producer Pharrell Williams and A Bathing Ape founder Nigo. The collection comprised eight styles that began to establish a signature look for the brand, including a rimless silhouette with gradient raspberry lenses accented at the corners with a logo flower and racing red aviators shot through with a gold stripe and embellished at the temples with an S-lock closure interpreted from that used on the brand's luggage.
"There has been a very positive response to the collection," Roblin said. "Even the extreme image models did well. It says that customers were waiting for Louis Vuitton to launch sunglasses."
The new collection builds upon the fashion elements — and especially the logo treatments — that were present in those previous styles, but enhances it with a functional side that has been in development for more than two years.
"Just like any other Louis Vuitton product, ultimate quality is crucial," Roblin said. "As we are not going down the road of licensing at all, it took time to find the right manufacturers that would craft the sunglasses up to the quality standards of any other Louis Vuitton product."
All the new sunglasses will be manufactured in the Jura region in France from either a cotton-based acetate that is cut and polished by hand, or gold or silver metal. The cotton-based acetates were developed by a color specialist and range from solids such as blacks and browns to caramel-colored faux-horn treatments and deeper-hued faux tortoiseshells.
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