Safilo Group has wrapped up its 2018 North American sales meeting in Jersey City, bringing together optical, corporate chains and department/specialty store independent sales agents from across the U.S. and Canada.

The energizing and inspiring conference ran on Jan. 18-20, 2018 and was focused on “the power of winning” as the preferred partner of independent opticians and the impactful ways that the company is celebrating and supporting its customers.

“We are the largest independently operated eyewear company,” Henri Blomqvist, Safilo North America CEO said in his closing remarks. “We are the best brand builders in the industry with the best products, best portfolio, best commercial programs and best sales force that exists in the U.S. The 2018 customer-centric commercial programs we’ve built to support our 3 O customers’ growth is a win-win for all; the ECP’s success is our success. With this, we have the energy, potential and unstoppable power to win in 2018 – and we will all win, together.”

Corporate speakers included: Henri Blomqvist of Safilo North America; Luisa Delgado, CEO, Safilo Group; Eugenio Razelli, chairman, board of directors, Safilo Group; Stefano Biondo, chief brand officer, Safilo Group; Vladimiro Baldin, chief product design and creation officer, Safilo Group; Marco Vezzani, global trade marketing director, Safilo Group; plus various members of the North American leadership team who provided high impact presentations on a range of topics, including the SS18 launches of rag & bone and Moschino, as well as the company’s core owned brands: Carrera, OXYDO, Polaroid, Safilo and Smith.

Commercial programs and new merchandising programs for 2018 were also highlighted.

Guest speakers included an exciting mix of customers and licensors:

Robin Brush, operations director of Eye Consultants, a top 3 O Safilo customer located in Omaha, NE, enlightened the sales force with her unique perspective on optimizing sales appointments as well as how Safilo’s lucrative new commercial terms have greatly helped their profitability.

Mary Beech, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of kate spade new york, captivated the audience with her insight on who the kate spade girl is today, the importance of creating high impact “thumbstopping” digital content and having strong licensing partners like Safilo.

Marcus Wainwright, founder and CEO of rag & bone, spoke about the brand’s humble beginnings as a denim startup and educated the crowd on how authenticity, quality and craftsmanship are paramount to everything they do, including its new eyewear collection launching SS18 with Safilo. He shared that eyewear is an incredible part of someone’s look and identity and after dabbling in eyewear in the past, found Safilo to be the right partner at the right time.

Uri Minkoff, CEO and co-founder of Rebecca Minkoff, Safilo’s newest license launching SS19, touted the brand’s credentials as the largest brand in fashion with a female millennial designer at the helm. He dazzled the audience with impressive brand stats, inimitable events, their highly successful early adoption of influencers and bloggers, and their unique and leading approach to perfecting the brick and mortar shopping experience.

Recognition was given to numerous independent sales agents for achievements in 2017 during the meeting, including the new Ira Greenhouse Award which exemplifies the important concept of “Customer First.”

Named for Ira Greenhouse, an over 25-year member of Safilo’s independent department stores sales organization and long-time board member of the Accessories Council who passed away in November 2017, it honors excellence through collaboration, partnership, trust and kindness that Ira exemplified throughout his career.

About Safilo Group

Safilo Group is the fully integrated Italian eyewear creator and worldwide distributor of quality and trust, leader in the premium sector for sunglasses, optical frames and sports eyewear. Design inspired and brand driven, Safilo translates extraordinary design into excellent products created thanks to superior craftsmanship expertise dating back to 1878. With an extensive wholly owned global distribution network in 40 countries – in North and Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific and China – Safilo is committed to quality distribution of its products all around the world. Safilo’s portfolio encompasses Carrera, Polaroid, Smith, Safilo, Oxydo, Dior, Dior Homme, Fendi, Banana Republic, Bobbi Brown, BOSS, BOSS Orange, Elie Saab, Fossil, Givenchy, havaianas, Jack Spade, Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, kate spade new york, Liz Claiborne, Love Moschino, Marc Jacobs, Max Mara, Max&Co., Moschino, Pierre Cardin, rag&bone, Saks Fifth Avenue, Swatch, and Tommy Hilfiger.