MILAN — In its third limited-edition collection developed with Hublot, the Swiss watchmaker controlled by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Italia Independent is launching two new eyewear styles.
The men’s “Classic Fusion Italia Independent” sunglasses feature a metallic frame combining both matte and glossy details. The model is enriched by detachable flaps crafted from the soft Alcantara material.
The limited-edition capsule, hitting stores on Monday, also includes “Big Bang Italia Independent,” a pair of retro-inspired oversized women’s sunglasses showing the frame embellished with Italia Independent’s signature velvet effect.
The “Classic Fusion Italia Independent”style will retail at 757 euros, or $823 at current exchange rate, while “Big Bang Italia Independent” will be sold at 280 euros, or $305.
In February, Hublot launched an innovative new watch with storied Italian men’s wear firm Rubinacci. Italia Independent’s cofounder Lapo Elkann was the link between the two houses. Hublot used some of Rubinacci’s archival fabrics that date as far back as the Thirties on the bracelets and the dial of the Classic Fusion model. The timepieces, now available in stores, were produced in a maximum of 100 pieces per kind of fabric and retail at between 15,000 to 35,000 euros, or $16,000 to $37,156.
Last month, Italia Independent celebrated the 60th anniversary of the iconic Fiat 500 car by unveiling with a pair of sunglasses, available in two color combinations. Inspired by the silhouettes of the legendary car, the sunglasses feature a slightly retro rounded silhouette and the metallic bridge and the chromed details recall some of its signature elements. The Fiat 500 is one of the symbols of the Italian lifestyle and appears in a range of movies, such as the 24th installment of the James Bond saga, “Spectre,” as well as Pixar Animation Studios’ “Cars.” The Fiat 500 sunglasses, which retail at 150 euros, or $163, are sold in the Italia Independent boutiques, as well as at the company’s online store and in selected opticians’ and fashion shops.
In order to face last year’s financial difficulties, Italia Independent has been going through a reorganization following a capital increase of 15 million euros, or $16.5 million at average exchange rate, subscribed last year by Elkann. Italia Independent has been cutting nonstrategic expenses, increasing its efficiency, and bringing in new key figures in planning and production, as well as reviewing its distribution in markets showing more growth potential.
In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, Italia Independent posted a net loss of 12.2 million euros, or $13.4 million, compared with a profit of 475,000 euros, or $527,250 in 2015. Sales decreased 30.2 percent to 27.6 million euros, or $30.3 million, compared with 39.6 million euros, or $44 million, in the previous year.