By Denis Langlois
Demand for luxury goods continues to rise around the world, according to a recent Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study by Bain & Co.
The consultants say the luxury industry grew by five per cent from 2017 to 2018 to an estimated $1.8 trillion globally with positive performances across all segments including personal goods.
Luxury accessories were the largest and fastest growing category in the fashion industry, gaining about four per cent in 2018.
But what exactly constitutes a luxury product?
The definition varies somewhat, but most experts agree that such goods must be well-made, timeless, stylish and in-demand.
“When it comes to eyewear, luxury means high-quality materials, the newest technology, comfort and style,” says Cynthia Givens-Sanford, a professor at the School of Fashion Studies at George Brown College in Toronto.
“My expectations towards luxury eyewear is the same as luxury garments. I expect the high standards of materials, components and craftsmanship to equate to durability and strength.”
Luxury products are usually, but not always, classic in their design, she says, standing the test of time and not looking dated in future seasons. Many eyewear companies have added luxury frames this season.
Hawaii-based Maui Jim has several sunglass styles in its Luxury Collection.
“The Luxury Collection by Maui Jim is defined by premium materials and meticulous
craftsmanship revealed in unique styles, fashionable shapes and colourful palettes,” says Jay Black, vice-president of global marketing.
New models include Monstera Leaf and Swaying Palms, which are both made of Italian acetate and gilded with 24-karat gold on the temple décor.
“Both styles, as with all Maui Jim sunglasses, are equipped with PolarizedPlus2 lenses that wipe out 99.9 per cent of glare and block 100 per cent of harmful UV rays, while enhancing colour, definition and depth perception,” Black says.
Safilo Group has numerous brands in its portfolio that feature luxury frames and sunglasses, including in its core brands like SAFILO and licenced brands like Givenchy.
New luxury styles for spring/summer 2019 include the SAFILO Registro 01 men’s optical frame, which combines artisan skills and advanced technology to create timeless yet contemporary products. The new SAFILO Linea 03 for women reflects the elegance
of the brand, enhanced by subtle colour touches and combinations of superior materials.
New Givenchy frames include the GV 7125/S, which boasts distinctive details like the iconic
flat top shape, and the ultra-light GV 0099 optical frame.
Marchon Eyewear has announced that its Flexon Eyewear brand has entered the men’s luxury optical market with the launch of an upscale, style-driven Flexon Black collection.
“Flexon Black represents the most advanced and sophisticated expression of Flexon eyewear yet,” says Thomas Burkhardt, senior vice-president of global brands, marketing and design at Marchon Eyewear.
“Flexon Black answers the call of discerning luxury eyewear customers who are looking for
simply the best product with regard to design sensibility and technically advanced construction.”
The new line is a hybrid of technical innovation and true artisanship using the finest
materials in combination with Flexon’s signature strength and resilience.
Optika Eyewear’s Nat & Coco collection also features luxurious frames that are sure to inspire your flair for haute couture and fashion excess.
Frames in the collection boast innovative temple designs, coupled with new and exciting colour combinations.
New models include the Nat & Coco NC2781, which blends acetate fronts with rhinestone inserts and stainless steel temples “for maximum bling.” Model NC1359 is a new take on the classic cat-eye eyewear design.
COMFORT MEETS LUXURY
WestGroupe has added several new frames to its Evatik collection for men, which includes styles that strike the perfect balance between comfort and luxury.
Minimalistic and architectural designs are elevated by the finest materials such as handmade acetate, high-grade stainless steel and Japanese titanium.
The new frames include the semi-rimless, large fit E-9188, which stands out with a precise laser-cut groove on the top edge of the frame that is finished in accent colour.
The temples are pierced creating a linear design element and finished with a pop of colour.
Style E-9190 features a modern twist to the classic navigator shape, while style E-9191 boasts a rectangular shape, monoblock front.
New styles have been added to Ogi Eyewear’s Seraphin line, which includes frames that adapt the finest elements of luxury eyewear from the past into fresh, contemporary interpretations.
The new models include Bluff, a “classic meets urban frame” that dons a lace pattern for a
mesmerizing experience, Taft, which boasts tortoise temples that complement the sharp colour tones of the frame front, Coronet, which has a cat-eye silhouette, and Gramercy, which couples metal and acetate and includes many details.
The Silhouette Atelier collection, available by special order through Canadian Optical Supply, features truly luxurious frames handcrafted in Austria with 18-karat gold.
The models include the decoinspired G017, which includes 60 brilliant-cut diamonds and
baguette cut stones on the temples.
Silhouette has many more affordable new releases as well, including the four special edition models that celebrate the 20th birthday this year of its Titan Minimal Art design.
Blackfin has created a new campaign, called Natural Awareness, to showcase its new
eyewear for spring 2019.
Campaign images by photographer Giovanni De Sandre show the hightech and glamorous appeal of the styles.
The new collection includes the Sunnyside and Cape May sunglasses for women and the New Orleans optical frame for men.