Paul Smith and Cutler and Gross will collaborate on eyewear

EYES ON SMITH: Paul Smith’s one-off collaboration with Cutler and Gross in May proved a success, and the brands have now decided to solidify their partnership. WWD has learned they’ve entered into a three-year licensing agreement that will see Cutler and Gross design, produce and distribute Paul Smith sunglasses and optical frames.

An announcement is expected today.

“Cutler and Gross is often referred to as the authority in British eyewear. What better way to celebrate our 50th anniversary than to join forces with the authority in British fashion,” said Graham Cutler, cofounder of Cutler and Gross.

Paul Smith said aim is to grow and strengthen its position in the luxury eyewear market. There will be an emphasis on distribution through premium opticians and eyewear stores and a particular focus on optical frames, though sunglasses will also be featured.

All frames will be made by hand at Cutler and Gross’ own factory in northern Italy, and fitted with lenses supplied by Dalloz Creations, the French sunlens manufacturer for the high-end market. Optical prices range from $310 to $340 while sunglasses range from $330 to $360.

The first collection under the new license will feature a combination of metal and acetate frames in classic shapes, with subtle details that echo Smith’s colors and tailoring. The frames will launch at the optical trade fair Mido in Milan from Feb. 23 to 25 and will then be sold at Paul Smith and Cutler and Gross outlets and a selection of premium stores and opticians globally.

Smith, who was close friends with the late cofounder Tony Gross, said he’d always admired the brand: “The attention to detail and expertise that Tony practiced is still absolutely central to the work the company are doing today. I’m delighted to be collaborating with Cutler and Gross and look forward to an exciting and creative future.”