MILAN — Marcolin and Emilio Pucci have signed a five-year licensing agreement for the Florentine fashion house’s eyewear collections.Marchon previously had produced and distributed Pucci’s eyewear collections since 2007. The first fruits of the collaboration between the two companies will be unveiled next year during the next edition of Milan-based international eyewear trade show Mido, Feb. 28 to March 2, when Marcolin and Emilio Pucci will introduce a collection of 16 sunglasses and 16 optic frames.“For us, Marcolin is synonymous with research of materials, design and technology, and it also maintains that Italian identity which is so important for our brand,” said Emilio Pucci chief executive officer Laudomia Pucci. “During the various meetings we had together, I noticed that Marcolin is particularly willing to interpret the brand.”“Our first goal is always to deeply understand the DNA of the label and identify its past, present and future,” said Marcolin ceo Giovanni Zoppas. “The great thing about Emilio Pucci is that it has a very clear identity — nowadays, brands are desperately looking for a story to tell and sometimes are forced to invent one. Here, the situation is the opposite: The mission is understanding how to bring the brand to the future without loosing its ties with its heritage.”According to Pucci, maintaining the label’s aesthetic, colors and prints will be central in the eyewear. With the new partnership, the category is expected to account for between 8 and 10 percent of the brand’s total business.“Our artistic director Peter Dundas is extremely involved in this project and he enjoyed working next to Marcolin’s internal design team, with which he created great creative synergies,” Pucci said. “When a fashion house’s codes are so strong it’s easy to give a too-literal interpretation, so the goal is to put creative people in the condition of challenging themselves.”On the commercial side, through this partnership, Marcolin will also have the chance to further reinforce its business in the U.S., a market which, according to Zoppas, accounts for more than 40 percent of the global eyewear business.“We have a split personality — our brand was born in America but it’s Italian. In addition, in the USA we are really trans-generational,” confirmed Pucci, while explaining that the focus won’t be only on the U.S. and Western Europe, where the label is already extremely strong, as the brand aims to expand internationally. In particular, Marcolin and Emilio Pucci developed a series of models with an Asian fit, which will be available in the Far East and also distributed worldwide to meet the needs of international tourists.The new Emilio Pucci eyewear collection will be positioned in the high-end segment of the market, even if “the entry price will be very competitive,” explained Pucci, who said that accessories currently account for 20 percent of the company’s business.Marcolin, which recently landed new licensing deals with Ermenegildo Zegna and Agnona, also manufactures eyewear for brands such as Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Roberto Cavalli, Dsquared2, Diesel, Tod’s and Montblanc. Its Viva International portfolio includes brands such as Guess, Rampage and Harley-Havidson in addition to Skechers. Marcolin closed 2013 with revenues of 360 million euros, or $493.2 million at average exchange rates, down 2 percent compared with the previous year. According to Zoppas, the small decrease was due to the company’s internal restructuring, along with the reorganization of its partnership in international markets. Zoppas also said that in the first quarter of 2014 Marcolin is growing in all markets with all its brands.
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