Carolina Herrera Resort 2022

MILAN — Carolina Herrera has a new eyewear licensing partner.

The New York-based luxury brand has signed a five-year agreement with Safilo Group for the design, production and global distribution of sunglasses and optical frames.

The deal will be effective from Jan. 1 after the brand’s 10-year license with rival manufacturer De Rigo Vision SpA expires at the end of 2021.

The first collection under the new deal will bow for spring 2022.

“We are very pleased to start this new partnership, which represents a great brand addition to our portfolio and a significant opportunity to further advance and strengthen the brand’s image and geographical reach thanks to our unique product design and distribution capabilities,” said Angelo Trocchia, chief executive officer of Safilo Group.

He pointed to a “reshape” of the company’s portfolio of licensed brands and touted the addition of the Carolina Herrera brand as instrumental in reinforcing the manufacturer’s position in the women’s market. “It represents a crucial step in effectively counterbalancing the recent brand exits,” he said. These include the lucrative Dior brand, as well as the Fendi label, which expired last month, as reported.

“Safilo shares our passion for creativity, innovation and quality. Together, we are committed to establishing an eyewear collection as an extension of the fashion language defined by our creative director, Wes Gordon, while reinforcing the distinctive codes of the house,” commented Emilie Rubinfeld, president of Carolina Herrera Ltd. “With Safilo’s expertise and broad omni-distribution reach, we are confident that our collaboration will engage and excite the global consumer with exceptional products.”

In addition to its own brands Carrera, Polaroid, Smith and Safilo, Seventh Street Blenders and Privé Revaux, the group produces and distributes eyewear for labels such as DB Eyewear by David Beckham, Missoni, Marc Jacobs, Moschino, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s and Parisian-chic label Isabel Marant. In May, Safilo signed a five-year global licensing agreement with Dsquared2 — a license previously held by competitor the Marcolin Group.

Lifted by U.S. sales, online business and cost-cutting measures, Safilo reported an improved performance in the three months ended March 31, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization skyrocketing 342.8 percent to 25.8 million euros, compared to 5.8 million euros in the same period a year earlier. This was a 29.4 percent improvement on its pre-pandemic first-quarter 2019 adjusted EBITDA of 20 million euros.

In the first quarter, net sales were up 13.7 percent to 251.4 million euros, in line with the “double-digit” growth guidance given by the company in March. At constant exchange, net sales were 20 percent higher than the first quarter of 2020 and 6 percent above the same period in 2019.