Canali eyewear

MILAN Canali SpA has inked a five-year licensing agreement with L’Amy America, part of International Luxury Group, to produce and distribute a luxury collection of sunglasses and ophthalmic frames. The collection will bow at Milan’s eyewear trade show MIDO next year and will be rolled out globally starting in March.

This is a first in terms of brand extensions for the Italian family-owned men’s wear group. General manager Stefano Canali underscored how this category in particular has “substantial content,” and stands out since it “frames the face.” The executive said finding the right partner was a priority and praised L’Amy for having Canali’s same “values and codes,” for the company’s use of first-rate materials and expertise, and its technology and craftsmanship.

He also noted that this is a first step in a strategy of extensions spanning over the next five years. “We are in no rush, we want to do things well.”

The rollout will be “well-calibrated. We don’t want to flood our stores with eyewear.” He emphasized how it was key for the product to reflect the quality of the brand, and was upbeat about the potential of eyewear for Canali. “There is room for a well-done product, that will help approach our brand,” he said.

The line will be positioned in the high-end range of the market and will include 14 ophthalmic models and 15 sunglasses in three colors as “a starting point,” Canali said. The collection will be produced in Italy, mainly in the Veneto region, which specializes in eyewear.

Stephen Rappoport, president and chief executive officer of L’Amy America, said “the Canali name is synonymous with tailor-made Italian luxury and men’s elegance with a heritage developed since 1934, and we are delighted to leverage the brand’s excellence and artisanal know-how crafting a refined 100 percent Made in Italy luxury men’s eyewear collection” for the brand.

The Canali eyewear collection will be available in selected Canali boutiques and online on as well as in select high-level optical, department stores, and specialty eyewear stores.

L’Amy America is wholly owned by accessories firm ILG, or International Luxury Group, which also develops and distributes collections for brands ranging from Ann Taylor, Balmain and Cerruti 1881 to Kenzo and New Balance. It also produces its house brand TLG. ILG produces eyewear, watches, leather goods and jewelry.

Canali reported sales of 216 million euros last year and is registering a positive performance in 2017, in line with 2016, with growth being seen in the U.S., China, Russia and the U.K.

Ten new stores are expected to open in 2017 in countries ranging from China, Egypt, India, Finland and Australia to the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan. Exports account for 90 percent of sales. The U.S. is the group’s main market, representing 42 percent of sales, followed by the Europe, Middle East and Africa region — Italy excluded — accounting for 27 percent. The Asia-Pacific region represents 20 percent of sales, followed by Italy, accounting for 11 percent of the total.

Canali counts 139 franchised stores and 40 directly operated boutiques and the brand is also available at 1,000 multibrand stores.