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.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews