Billy Reid is moving into eyewear with help from Eponym.
The designer has signed a multiyear licensing agreement with the start-up to produce the first Billy Reid Optical collection, which will be available in Billy Reid stores and select department stores and boutiques for fall 2017.
“I have been wearing glasses since I was 20 years old, so at this point they are a part of my identity,” Reid said. “There’s been an obvious demand from our customers requesting eyewear and it only made sense for us to find a partner to help this come to life.”
Reid said the collection, which will include sunglasses and optical lenses, will be inspired by classic American shapes and made from fine metals, brass and horn.
“The team at Eponym has long admired Billy’s dedication to craftsmanship and the rugged appeal of his brand, as well as Billy’s honest, open and collaborative approach to partnership,” said Andrew Lipovsky, Eponym’s founder and chief executive officer. “The partnership with Billy Reid cements Eponym’s status as the go-to licensing partner for contemporary brands that are seeking to expand into eyewear.”
Eponym, which recently brought on Trish Donnelly, the ceo of Urban Outfitters Inc., to be its newest board member, was founded in 2010. The turnkey eyewear licensing platform produces eyewear collections for Steven Alan, which recently signed a 10-year contract to continue the deal, Alice + Olivia and Jason Wu. The platform allows designers to create sunwear and optical lines, including distribution of prescription eyewear, directly to their customers under their own label in their own stores and online. Last August it raised $7 million in a Series A financing round, which was led by Tenfore Holdings, Tribeca Venture Partners, RiverPark Ventures and WTI.