Ricardo Guadalupe and Lapo Elkann

MILAN — Hublot and Italia Independent have signed a licensing agreement for the production of an eyewear line under the Swiss watch maker’s brand.

The first collection will debut in September.

“This licensing agreement is extremely important to us because it highlights our ability to attract brands of excellence and strengthens the process of relaunching Italia Independent, allowing us to enter a premium eyewear segment with Hublot, a unique company in terms of style, innovation and creativity,” said Italia Independent chief executive officer Giovanni Carlino.

This is the first license between Hublot, which is controlled by French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and Italia Independent, but their collaboration first kicked off at the end of 2014 and it has generated three limited-edition capsule collections, including exclusive timepieces and frames.

“With this agreement Italia Independent crowns a synergy that has been built up over time, a partnership the fruits of which are destined to last over time because it offers a unique, personal experience that is able to excite and make people dream,” said Italia Independent founder and creative chairman Lapo Elkann. “I am proud of this extraordinary love story that has given Italia Independent the opportunity to share its propensity for innovation and creativity with a world leader in Swiss luxury watchmaking.”

“The collaboration between Hublot, Lapo Elkann and Italia Independent is a marvelous example of our ‘The Art of Fusion’ concept,” added Hublot chief executive officer Ricardo Guadalupe. “It fuses two creative spirits, both intent on leaving the beaten track behind, and on furthering the quest to use new materials. We have worked together since 2014 and hope it will continue in the future.”

Last month, Italia Independent signed a licensing agreement with The Walt Disney Company for the production and distribution of the eyewear collections of the American entertainment conglomerate, including Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm. An eyewear collection celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 90th anniversary will be unveiled in September.

In addition, the first collection of frames developed in collaboration with Pharrell Williams’ Billionaire Boys Club will bow in June.

In 2017, Italia Independent Group, which is listed on the AIM Alternative Market of Capital segment of the Milan Stock Exchange, reported a net loss of 9.8 million euros, compared with 12.3 million euros in the same period last year, and the company registered a negative EBITDA of 283,000 euros, which marked an improvement from a negative EBITDA of 6.2 million euros in 2016.

Sales were down 9.1 percent to 22.1 million euros, compared with 24.3 million euros last year. The sales of eyewear, the group’s leading segment, registered a general decrease in all markets, except for France and Germany.

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