MILAN — Milla, take a step back. There’s not a model or actress in sight in the latest Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani eyewear advertising campaigns.

The models — two owls — donning Armani’s new Emporio eyewear designs are not likely to grace the glossy pages of any fashion magazine, but are still very much of the moment, if Harry Potter’s pet Hedwig is any indication.

To mark the retail launch of his first eyewear collections produced and distributed by Safilo Group, the designer is taking a daring but humorous step.

“The fashion industry is often guilty of taking itself too seriously,” Armani saidin a statement. “It therefore seems appropriate to launch the first Safilo-manufactured Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani eyewear collections with ironic advertising campaigns, which will get noticed because they break from that tradition.”

For the Emporio Armani Eyewear fall collection, a male and female owl individually model styles from the new line.The birds were photographed in a studio here by Gabriele Inzaghi.

Armani himself posed for his signature eyewear campaign, shot by David McKnight, with text that reads “Eyewear from Giorgio Armani.” The designer wanted to “emphasize his personal touch [in the collection] and his passion for eyewear.”

For the first time, Armani will investsignificantly in TV and signature outdoor locations rather than just print media for the Emporio campaign. The print ads will appear in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, The New York Times,Esquire, Corriere della Sera, Le Figaro, The Daily Telegraph and Suddeutsche Zeitung. Both campaigns break this month and run through December. The spokesman said the space amounts to 5.5 million euros, or about $6 million at current exchange.

The fall Giorgio Armani collection features large oval or rectangular-shaped lenses with frames in such colors as violet and cherry. Emporio offers soft, rectangular silhouettes; upswept, round and narrow oval frames, and butterfly-inspired shapes.

As reported, Armani terminated its 14-year partnership with Luxottica over disagreements about the design and the mass distribution of its eyewear lines and signed with Safilo last February. The spokesman said there were no specific sales projections, but “expected volumes to possibly decrease in the first season,” since Armani has reduced distribution. Last year, the Armani license with Luxottica accounted for about $225.3 million, or 7.2 percent of Luxottica’s revenue.The Padova-based Safilo produces eyewear under license for Christian Dior, several Gucci Group brands, Burberry, Polo Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Max Mara. Safilo also distributes exclusive licensed collections for Liz Claiborne, Fossil and Kate Spade, among others.



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