Dunhill Men's Fall 2020

MILAN — Compagnie Financière Richemont is strengthening its ties with Kering Eyewear, as the Italy-based group has inked an agreement with Dunhill for the global production and distribution of sunglasses and prescription eyewear.

This follows a five-year collaboration between Dunhill, founded in London in 1893 and controlled by Richemont, and De Rigo, which expires at the end of the year.

The first collection will bow for the spring 2021 season with an offer dedicated to the Asian market and a focus on Japan. Last year, Dunhill’s chief executive officer Andrew Maag told WWD Japan continued to be the brand’s largest market.

The eyewear line will be distributed starting in January 2021.

Roberto Vedovotto, president and ceo of Kering Eyewear, said he was proud of a partnership with a brand that is “authentic, hinging on a careful and sophisticated design.”

“I am certain that our relaunch strategy will bring Dunhill to establish itself as the most recognizable British brand on the eyewear scene, strengthening its presence in the Asian region and leveraging new opportunities in fast-growing markets,” continued Vedovotto.

Dunhill’s creative director is Mark Weston and the label won the “British Luxury Brand of the Year” at the Walpole British Luxury Awards in 2019.

“We are grateful to De Rigo for these five years of brilliant collaboration that have allowed us to elevate the positioning of our eyewear in line with the new direction of the brand,” said Maag, a former Burberry executive who joined Dunhill at the end of 2017. “We are ready to create a new fantastic alliance and build together a history of success.”

As reported, last month Kering Eyewear signed an agreement to design, develop, produce and distribute globally eyewear collections for Chloé, also controlled by Richemont.

The first collection will bow for spring 2021 and comprises women’s sunglasses and prescription frames, and a selection for kids. It will be presented at the Silmo Salon Mondial de l’Optique trade show in September, while distribution will start in January.

Kering Eyewear is headquartered at the 17th-century Villa Zaguri, about an hour away from Venice. Vedovotto set up the company in 2014, launching a new business model.

Kering Eyewear develops and distributes collections for brands ranging from Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and Alexander McQueen to Stella McCartney, Alaïa, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, McQ and Puma.

In March 2017,  Compagnie Financière Richemont became a stakeholder in Kering Eyewear, which led to the production of Cartier eyewear. Collections for Montblanc, Courrèges and Balenciaga have been added since last year.