Mass market eyewear giant Foster Grant is seizing an opportunity to attract women looking to invest a little more in fashion-forward-yet-accessible sunglasses. The company has launched a line called Item 8 to capture the $30 to $75 market.
Beginning online with eight collections and 64 stockkeeping units, Item 8 offers edgier, on-trend ladies’ styles retailing from $58 to $68 with better quality than the company’s bread and butter sunglasses sold in gas stations and tourist shops.
“We saw a great opportunity from the consumer and design standpoint,” said Gina Lazaro, chief marketing officer of Foster Grant. The line is designed by Foster Grant’s vice president of product design and creative director Matthew Coon. Fashion stories include Black Gold, Violet Meets Rose, 8 Shades of Pink and so on. Elevated touches include the dominolike metal logo on each frame or temple tip, gradient and flash lenses and a heavier feel.
Foster Grant is the top-selling brand in the eyewear market, selling more units than Oakley and Ray-Ban in the under-$30 category. Recently, brands such as Perverse have launched in the $35-$75 price tier offering a fast-fashion take on “designer” eyewear.
Item 8 is available on Foster Grant’s e-commerce site as well as its own online destination, where it has its own branding an imagery. Celebrity ambassador Kat Graham is the campaign face for both lines. Item 8 is also targeting department stores such as Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom for wholesale distribution.
Lazaro said the frequency plan is to unveil new styles each quarter to keep collections looking fresh. “We’re going after the 20 to early 40s young woman, not the teen. It’s that group of young women who aren’t interested in spending a fortune but want some great options,” she said. “This allows you to try at very low risk.”
Item 8’s launch campaign has a heavy focus on influencers and social media, along with digital and print advertising. Television is key to the core Foster Grant consumer, who identifies with the ads featuring Raquel Welch and Brooke Shields.
Item 8 parent company FGX International is a wholly owned subsidiary of leading ophthalmic lensmaker Essilor International.