Backstage at Isabel Marant RTW Fall 2020

MILAN — Isabel Marant is to add eyewear to her French-chic product offering.

The label has signed a 10-year licensing agreement with Safilo Group for the design, production and global distribution of sunglasses and optical frames, the two companies announced Tuesday.

The first collection under the new deal will be for spring 2021.

In the past, Marant, who has a thriving business in shoes but had resisted diversifying into other categories, has established one-off efforts including an eyewear collaboration with Oliver Peoples, in addition to limited-edition makeup with L’Oréal Paris.

“We are pleased to welcome to our portfolio one of the coolest French designer brands whose unique expression and iconic style ensure it stands out within the advanced luxury design segment,” commented Angelo Trocchia, Safilo’s chief executive officer, noting the brand’s positioning is particularly appealing to Gen Z and Millennials. “We will focus on reflecting the brand’s distinctive Parisian style through its eyewear collections to appeal to women both in France and throughout the world and expand the brand in this important product category.”

“Safilo’s expertise and capabilities in the design, development and manufacturing of eyewear, as well as their qualitative and widespread distribution reach, are the critical factors that lead us to take this exciting challenge of entering into our first ever eyewear licensing agreement,” noted Marant. “We were looking for a partner capable of translating our idea of a sartorial interpretation into an accessory that is emblematic of present-day style.”

In January, the company, which is in the midst of a restructuring, reported solid preliminary 2019 sales that excluded the group’s discontinued retail operations. Revenues were up 3.1 percent to 939 million euros, compared with 910.7 million euros in the previous year. The company is expected to report year-end results on Wednesday.

In December, the eyewear group presented its 2020-24 business plan, which included laying off 700 employees and a revision of its sales and margins forecasts. The business plan included the exit of the Dior brand from Jan. 1, 2021, and that of the Fendi label from July 1 that same year. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2017 signed a joint venture with Marcolin, called Thélios, for the production and distribution of eyewear collections.

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