NEW YORK — AAi FosterGrant Inc., the Smithfield, R.I.-based manufacturer of sunglasses, reading glasses and costume jewelry, has acquired sunglass maker Gargoyles Inc.’s brand portfolio for an undisclosed sum.

This story first appeared in the January 26, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The deal, which comprises the Gargoyles, Anarchy, Angel, G-Force, GXP and Idol-Eyez brands, gives the manufacturer an entry into higher price points and a new consumer base that is younger and edgier than its core namesake brand. Foster Grant’s existing lines typically retail for under $30, whereas the Gargoyles collection, for instance, starts at around $80 and can retail for up to $120. The firm plans to keep the trade channels and pricing strategy for the acquired brands.

“The Gargoyles brand portfolio provides the equities necessary to expand our penetration into new premium channels, while also attracting new consumers,” said John Ranelli, AAi FosterGrant’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The brands retail in channels and accounts that will provide immediate growth for our company and enable us to provide our retailers a broad range of products and prices to meet their customers’ every need.”

This acquisition of the Gargoyles trademarks will bring the number of brands in AAi FosterGrant’s portfolio to nine. Besides the Foster Grant brand, the company manufactures licensed lines for Ironman, Champion and Club Med.