PARIS — With 3-D technology set to infiltrate multiple areas of everyday life, from iPhones to packaging, polarized designer 3-D specs that also function as regular shades are set to be the next big thing for the eyewear industry.
That’s the prediction of Marchon executives, who at Vision Expo West this week in Las Vegas, will unveil polarized 3-D sunglass lines by Nike, ck Calvin Klein Eyewear, Nautica Eyewear and M3D Collection.
Attending the recent edition of the Silmo eyewear salon here, Claudio Gottardi, president and chief executive of Marchon International, said the large quantities of passive-system 3-D technology-embedded TVs, laptops and games currently being shipped to stores for the holiday season could translate into a major volume increase for the industry.
Getting into position, the firm in July created Marchon3D, in a joint venture with 3-D technology provider RealD Inc., the firm that developed the official 3-D specs used for “Avatar” screenings. Marchon3D, which is said to be working with a number of major theaters and TV production houses, has six circular polarized 3-D lens technology patents pending.
Likening the impact 3-D designer glasses could have on the iPod phenomenon, David Johnson, president of Marchon3D, said 3-D is steadily becoming more of a household term. The next two to three years will see three to four major movie releases each month, he predicted, compared with around one a month currently, depending on the time of the year.
Marchon3D plans to distribute non-designer 3-D specs in theaters, likely from the first quarter of next year.
Launches at Silmo by Marchon included Lacoste’s new men’s and women’s eyewear line and Nike’s new Nike Vintage eyewear line, which already has a viral campaign underway.
The eyewear sector sure could do with a boost, according to certain retailers attending Silmo, notably from Europe, who reported sluggish business and volatile consumer spending patterns. However, many cited an uptick in sales. Carole Menard, a buyer for Canadian distributor Prisme Optical, said her budget was up by 20 percent. “The market is pretty steady at this point,” she said.
Menard bemoaned a lack of novelty at the event, with a continuation of cat eye and acetate styles. Vintage is still a big story, including geeky-chic thick plastic frames. “Key trends were round, rectangular and oversize, and color is back,” said Sandrine da Costa, director of Paris eyewear store Les Plus Belles Lunettes du Monde.
Fabien Hames, owner of Krys, an optician in Roubaix, France, said brands with good brand image and price/quality positioning, such as Zadig & Voltaire, are doing well, while Garry Marshall, an optician from Bayfield & Bartlam Opticians in Leeds, England, said demand was for more expensive, quality products. “Customers see it as an investment, so we’ve chosen to go down that route rather than the buy-one-get-one-free thing,” he said, lauding All Green’s collection.
Several manufacturers confirmed strong demand for authentic luxury eyewear. Cutler and Gross, for instance, which feted its Maison Martin Margiela eyewear license during the event, said like-for-like sales were up by more than 50 percent for the year ending July 31. The house plans to open flagships in New York and Toronto early next year. “We will offer 1,000 styles in four to five color ways as well as a bespoke service, no other store has such a vast offer,” said Majid Mohammadi, the firm’s ceo.
Logo, which manufactures eyewear lines for the likes of Tag Heuer, Range Rover and Fred, cited a double-digit increase in sales this year, with strong growth in the U.S. The firm presented its first eyewear line for sporting goods company Salomon, including its bubble mask style with a pliable frame.
Cartier presented two new precious Art Deco-style sculpted panther prescription styles, inspired by an archive Thirties drawing by illustrator George Barbier. The brand’s big launch was an aspirational line for the prescription segment, however, dubbed Première, marking Cartier’s foray into acetate frames. Due to enter stores in November, prices start at 330 euros, or $445 at current exchange.
Among innovations creating buzz at Silmo, Mykita, whose latest designer hook-ups include Alexandre Herchcovitch and Rad Hourani, presented a new patented lightweight technical material made from polyamide powder, dubbed Mylon. Made using a laser technique inspired by rapid prototyping, the process does away with the need for molds or tooling. Designers who showcased Mylon eyewear at the event included Romain Kremer and Bernhard Willhelm, who presented sausage-inspired styles.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion