Sàfilo and Jimmy Choo Extend Their Licensing Agreement

Safilologo Jimmy ChooSàfilo Group and Jimmy Choo have extended their licensing agreement until December 31, 2018, for the design, production and distribution of the Jimmy Choo eyewear collections of sunglasses and optical frames. According to the Italian distributor, this reflects the outstanding growth of the brand’s eyewear business across all major countries, especially in Europe and North America.

“We are proud to count Jimmy Choo among our leading luxury fashion and top-growth eyewear brands,” commented Luisa Delgado, CEO of Sàfilo Group. “The brand’s uniquely glamorous and confidently iconic style inspires us to create distinctive eyewear that has exceptional appeal in the markets where it is distributed via premium quality channels. We see great potential for accelerated growth, particularly in Asia Pacific, China, and Latin America, enabled by our new commercial leadership capability.”

“We are very pleased to prolong our partnership with Sàfilo,” said Pierre Denis, CEO of Jimmy Choo. “We enjoy a strong and collaborative partnership producing designs that reflect the personality of the Jimmy Choo brand and the design vision of our Creative Director, Sandra Choi. Sàfilo’s expertise in commercial execution enhances the quality of our brand in the highest points of sales across the world. We look forward to further expanding our eyewear presence globally.”

Rodenstock Transfers its Canada Business to Distribution Partner Plastic Plus

Rodenstock NEWPlastic- single PP LOGO  2014

Rodenstock, Germany’s leading manufacturer of spectacle lenses and frames, will hand over its Canadian business to Plastic Plus Ltd., Canada’s leading optical lab and lens supplier.

Effective January 1st, 2015, Plastic Plus will act as exclusive production and distribution partner of the German based Rodenstock group and will serve the Canadian market through a central production lab in Toronto. “We are pleased to have found a reliable and experienced business partner in Canada, who will market our superior product portfolio and deliver excellent services to our clients,” confirms Oliver Kastalio, CEO of Rodenstock Group. “With Plastic Plus, we will sustainably strengthen our position in the Canadian market.”

Plastic Plus is Canada’s largest independent lens manufacturer. With one of the most highly advanced labs in the industry and the most state-of-the-art technology, the family run business sets high quality standards for its lenses. “We are very pleased to partner with Rodenstock – a company which is renowned for its unique family of products and brands,” says Paul Faibish, CEO of Plastic Plus. “Our local production clients will benefit from a wider product choice, individual service options and even shorter delivery times in the future.”

All existing Rodenstock business partners in Canada have been officially informed over the past days and can expect a smooth transition.

Live Eyewear Announces Manufacturer Direct Distribution in Canada

LiveEywearLive Eyewear, a leading manufacturer of fitover sunglasses and low vision aids, announces that it will establish offices in Vancouver to support the company’s initiative to service the Canadian eyewear market via a direct line of distribution. The expected date for the offices to open is the end of August.

Previously, the company’s patented, optical grade fitover sunglass collections, including the world-renowned Cocoons and Vistana brands, were only available to Canadian eyecare professionals through the company’s authorized distributor, 20/20 Accessory Source.

“Our fitover sunglasses and low vision aids are firmly established in the Canadian market and are the preferred choice of eyecare professionals who demand optical-grade products for their patients. After many years of servicing the Canadian market through a distributor, we’ve decided that our loyal base of Canadian customers deserves the focus and attention of manufacturer direct support,” said Live Eyewear President Kieran Hardy. “We have an opportunity to not only deliver an improved level of day-to-day service, direct pricing, special incentives and broader product selection, but also to gain a more in-depth understanding of what our authorized dealers need in order to further grow the fitover category in Canada. The new line of direct communication will be extremely beneficial for both us and our customers.”

Inquiries regarding Live Eyewear’s patented collections of fitover sunwear and low vision UV absorptive filters can be answered by a Live Eyewear representative by calling the company’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800 834-2563.

Catherine Deneuve and Marcolin Consolidate Partnership

Marcolin_DeneuveMarcolin Group and Catherine Deneuve have renewed their licensing agreement for the design, production and worldwide distribution of Catherine Deneuve Lunettes optical frames and sunglasses.

Initially launched through a licensing partnership with Viva International in 1989, this new multi-year agreement has been expanded to include the Marcolin Group.

“We are really pleased about the renewal of this license. Catherine Deneuve is the epitome of timeless elegance, something our company is proud to represent with these products,” said Giovanni Zoppas, CEO of Marcolin Group.

In December 2013, Marcolin finalized the acquisition of Viva International, significantly strengthening its brand portfolio and distribution structure, particularly in the U.S.

New Look Acquires Greiche & Scaff

NewLook_GreicheandScaffNew Look Eyewear has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain optical assets and business of Optic Direct, carrying on business under the Greiche & Scaff banner in Quebec. The acquisition is expected to close on or about October 1, 2014.

Founded in 1976, Greiche & Scaff has grown to become an established and well-recognized enterprise in Quebec’s optical retail markets. The assets and business to be acquired by New Look include 49 corporately owned stores in Quebec, 42 of which are in the greater Montreal region, and an integrated lens processing facility in Montreal. Revenues for the 12 months ended March 31, 2014 amounted to approximately $30.7 million.

The purchase price of the assets and business of Greiche & Scaff is $17.75 million, subject to customary price adjustments. New Look has entered into various financing arrangements to finance the acquisition, including a $10 million increase of its senior secured debt facility with its bank syndicate to $53 million and a “bought deal” private placement agreement for the issuance of 500,000 subscription receipts at a price of $20 per receipt with a syndicate of Canadian investment firms.

“This is an important building block in our strategic plan for participating in the consolidation of the Quebec and Canadian retail optical markets,” stated Antoine Amiel, vice-chairman of New Look. “It solidifies our Quebec base, particularly in the metropolitan Montreal region, and results in the acquisition of an additional established and respected banner in the retail optical market. It also gains us significant operating efficiencies.”

“We will continue to operate the Greiche & Scaff business as a separate banner and store network within the New Look/Vogue Optical umbrella,” added New Look President Martial Gagné. “We very much look forward to working with the Greiche & Scaff employees, associated optometrists and opticians and welcoming them to our group.”

The acquisition of Greiche & Scaff is subject to the usual closing conditions, at which time the 500,000 subscription receipts issued pursuant to the private placement are expected to be automatically converted into 500,000 Class A common shares of New Look.

Last November, New Look acquired the largest integrated optical retailer in Atlantic Canada, Vogue Optical, for about $74 million.

Partnership Between REM Eyewear and FYidoctors for Converse Eyewear

ConverseFYIThe popular brand Converse Eyewear will soon be easier to find in Canada, as REM Eyewear announces an exclusive distribution agreement with FYidoctors.

“I am personally thrilled to be expanding our already-strong relationship with REM Eyewear and adding the Converse line to our growing list of exclusive brands in Canada,” said FYidoctors’ CEO Dr. Alan Ulsifer. “Converse is one of the most highly recognized brands and the lineup of frames they have delivered is truly exciting for our company.”

REM Eyewear, the worldwide licensee of Converse Eyewear for over 25 years, selected FYidoctors as the exclusive Canadian distributor because of their commitment to outstanding customer service and their growing network of optometrists.

This distribution agreement will greatly increase the availability of Converse Eyewear throughout Canada through the FYidoctors network of over 200 locations and over 400 optometrists between its corporately owned and Vision Source Canada locations. Additionally, FYidoctors will continue to distribute the brand nationwide to interested retailers.

“All of us at REM Eyewear are excited to expand our partnership with FYidoctors and the Converse Eyewear collection will be a great addition to their current distribution of our John Varvatos collection. FYidoctors has been a great partner and we are looking forward to a long future together,” says REM’s President Steve Horowitz.

New Silhouette International Subsidiary in Brazil

SilhouetteSilhouette International is now represented in South America with its own subsidiary located in São Paulo, Brazil.

The branch office sells private label Silhouette eyewear as well as adidas and adidas Originals eyewear licensed brands. The subsidiary – the 14th of the Austrian family-owned company – also has its own warehouse. “We want to provide that service in Brazil that our customers the world over know – delivery within 48 hours – which is why we decided to set up our own warehouse in Brazil, in addition to our warehouses in the U.S. and at our headquarters in Austria,” said Silhouette International CEO Daniel Rogger.

“Brazil and South America have great potential and that is why it is important to us to handle this market ourselves. Our distribution partners have done a good job getting things set up over the past decades. The time has now come for us to take the helm,” said Rogger. He sees Silhouette’s future markets to be primarily in Asia, the CEE countries and South America, without losing sight of the company’s existing core markets in Europe and the U.S., which is still the biggest market for the Austrian eyewear manufacturer.

Sàfilo and Tommy Hilfiger Renew Their Licensing Agreement

Safilo_TommySàfilo Group and the Tommy Hilfiger Group, which is wholly owned by PVH Corp., announced a five-year renewal of their global eyewear licensing agreement for the exclusive design, development, production and distribution of the Tommy Hilfiger ophthalmic and sunglass collections. The agreement will run until December 31, 2020, with an optional five-year extension thereafter.

“We are very pleased to announce the early renewal of this important license, which seals the mutual trust between our two companies,” said Luisa Delgado, CEO of the Sàfilo Group. “We have achieved excellent results to date for Tommy Hilfiger eyewear, thanks to a seamless partnership that proved particularly effective for the quality design, product development, marketing, communication and distribution of the brand.”

“Sàfilo is a valued partner of the Tommy Hilfiger brand, and we are excited to renew this licensing agreement,” added Daniel Grieder, CEO of the Tommy Hilfiger Group. “Sàfilo’s long-standing global excellence in the eyewear industry, and their reputation for quality and innovation, are core values which continue to perfectly support our brand’s global premium and aspirational product positioning.”

Since establishing the global eyewear licensing agreement in late 2010, Sàfilo and the Tommy Hilfiger Group have partnered to consolidate and grow the Tommy Hilfiger brand’s global eyewear distribution business. During the forthcoming five-year term, the partnership will focus on expanding distribution in Asia and Latin America – both key markets with significant potential for expansion and category growth.

Emilio Pucci and Marcolin Sign a License Agreement

MarcolinMarcolin Group and Emilio Pucci have teamed up for a worldwide exclusive license agreement for the design, production and distribution of optical frames and sunglasses for Emilio Pucci. The license, effective January 2015 with the launch of the first sunglasses collection, will run for five years and is renewable.

Giovanni Zoppas, CEO of Marcolin Group, says: ”We are very pleased to include Emilio Pucci in our licensing portfolio, a brand with a unique and extraordinary heritage, iconic and with a great and long-standing tradition. In common with them we have the high affinity for attention to the product and to the brand codes and values: these elements let us successfully face a more and more challenging market. Our product offering including Emilio Pucci will provide additional quality to the women’s universe that we address”.

Laudomia Pucci, CEO of Emilio Pucci, stated: “We’re enthusiastic to work with Marcolin Group. Both companies are bearers of Italian values and able to interpret with creativity and innovation the heritage and patrimony to which they are international witnesses. The continuous research of innovative materials, design and quality represent the great asset of this partnership. The agreement allows the product reinforcement in its global dimension, aiming to grow in traditional and new markets following the Pucci brand solidification and expansion”.

The timeless fashion brand Emilio Pucci is synonymous with luxury, colour, design and “joie de vivre”, represented in its famous prints, innovative silhouette and fabrics that go beyond seasonal trends, for more than 60 years.

Marchon, whose current license will expire on December 31, 2014, launched the collection in 2008.

Modern Optical Appoints Don Coulson to Lead Canadian Business

Don Coulson has joined Modern Optical Canada, a division of Modern Optical International, as vice president of Canadian sales and operations. In this newly created position, Coulson, an industry veteran and Canadian native, will lead the company’s Canadian sales, marketing and business development efforts. Coulson, who is from Barrie, Ontario, brings over 25 years of eyewear and eyecare experience to his new role, including fourteen years on the road serving the western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Prior to joining Modern Optical Canada, Coulson was with Hilco Canada, Optiq Frames, Viva International Group and Imperial Optical.

“Don’s stellar reputation and extensive experience with generating growth, creating innovative programs and building high-performance teams make him uniquely qualified to thoughtfully expand our presence throughout Canada,” said Ken Weissman, president of Modern Optical International. “As the industry’s leading provider of value eyewear, we fill an important niche for thousands of ECPs. With Don’s keen leadership, we look forward to offering the same razor-sharp pricing, quality products and solid warranties to the many ECPs throughout Canada.”

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Modern Optical International is a Chicago-based family-owned business started in 1974. Modern is an industry leader in providing quality eyewear for men, women and children with 17 unique collections representing over 800 styles.