Accessories Report. Must-Have: Sunglasses Come Out of the Shade. Second City Style Fashion Blog

December 3, 2007 • Accessories


Nicky and Paris Hilton

Speaking of sunglasses…today’s WWD reports sunglasses have achieved high-visibility status as designers and companies are happily jumping into the shade business.

year alone Pucci, Jimmy Choo, Balenciaga, Proenza Schouler, Karl
Lagerfeld and Tiffany have entered the category, teaming with licensees
such as Marchon, Luxottica and Safilo to position themselves as
lifestyle brands.

insiders said eyewear’s retail profile has been rising for years and
shows no sign of crashing, despite an uneven recent history. Not everybody can afford a Chanel bag, but for $400 one can easily own some CC shades, making the high-end brand more accessible to the masses.

Vision Watch, a study conducted by optical
publishing company Jobson and the Vision Council of America, said
nonprescription sunglass sales totaled $2.12 billion in the last year,
up 13.5% from 2004, with 112 million pairs sold.

It’s easy to see why brands
get involved in eyewear. By selling one more category within a
multibrand retailer, a brand not only gains visibility but can meet an
entirely new customer. Companies also are hoping that sunglasses will
do the business that bags and shoes have done in recent years.

is a very visible fashion accessory," said Pierre Fay, Luxottica’s
executive vice president for North America. "It easily embodies the
sense of brand, the logo is very visible and the design can be
associated with a brand philosophy. It’s also right on the face of the
wearer. It’s very powerful yet at an affordable entry price point."

More shoppers have begun to build eyewear wardrobes, no longer limiting themselves to a single pair.

floors are lauding eyewear as a premier accessory by creating new
merchandising strategies. Sunglasses were once displayed only during
summer months, making way for gloves and scarves come fall. Now they
are a significant year-round offering. Some stores also are
experimenting with an "open sale" policy, where eyewear is no longer
under lock and key in a case, but available for customers to try on.

Read "Sunglasses Shine as Must-Have Item"

Photo: WireImage

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