NEW YORK — It’s going to be a colorful fall season for sunglasses.
Colors in Optics Ltd., a New York-based eyewear manufacturer, is launching two licensed collections under the BCBG and Rocawear monikers.
Taking a cue from the “bon chic bon genre” of the BCBG name, which translates as good style, good attitude, BCBG Max Azria’s relaunched sunglass line is tailor-made for a customer with a bold approach to fashion and herself.
“She is trendy, chic, sure of herself,’’ said Rhona Hutton, vice president and head of design at Colors in Optics, which acquired the license about six months ago after the company’s contract with Eye Space expired. “She knows what she wants and goes for it.”
The collection, which will wholesale from approximately $27.50 to $47.50, draws on the BCBG tradition of blending European sophistication with the American lifestyle. Moving the brand away from conservative styling and toward what Hutton described as “the cutting edge of wearable trends,” the Colors in Optics design team included 12 distinctive silhouettes that are big on glamour, but not out of place on the bleachers of a baseball game. The line includes everything from eye-catching plastics to classic tortoise-treated metal frames and rimless shades with pastel-tinted reflective lenses.
The design team also took style hints from the BCBG runway. The sunglasses feature a range of hues that play up BCBG’s color-centric fashion offerings.
The label seeks to position the sunglass collection wherever BCBG ready-to-wear clothing is sold, but hopes to build a line that stands on its own. The glasses will hit Bloomingdale’s in late September and Hutton expects that the Nordstrom, Dillard’s, May Co. and Federated Department Store chains will pick up the line. Distribution at specialty sunglass chains is also being explored.
In Federated stores alone, Hutton projected sales of almost $1 million this year, but noted that the success of the fall launch will largely determine the line’s growth for spring.
Rocawear’s sunglass collection, meanwhile, caters to the hip-hop lifestyle, where sunglasses are an integral accessory, day or night.
Damon Dash and Jay-Z, owners of the apparel and accessories brand, will launch their first collection of Rocawear sunglasses to arrive in stores as early as September.
“The collection reflects what goes on in music videos,” Hutton said.
The line, which she described as “bling-ed in every way” has the two musicians’ fingerprints almost all over it.
The logo-driven collection of about 30 to 36 pieces wholesale from approximately $22.50 to $47.50 and is intended for women, but styles such as a rimless shield lens in brown with gold rhinestones can clearly work for fashionable men as well. The temples on some versions have metal logos running down the side, while others have a gold logo emblem on the lens of the frame. Plastic frames come in brights, like hot pink, as well as black and brown neutrals.
Hutton expects retailers such as Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s to buy the collection during the August accessories market. To support the line, Rocawear’s ads will feature sun styles, further building up the customer’s attraction toward buying not just the product, but the entire image. Hutton declined to project wholesale volume for the brand, but said sales would be in the millions.
— Megan O’Keefe and Emily Holt