The 5-year partnership has a lot of synergy in it since style and designing is in both groups’ DNA, says Pearson
By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By BLOOMBERG
RENOWNED denim brand Levi Strauss & Co launched its Spring 2020 eyewear collection after signing an agreement with leading Italian designer and manufacturer, Safilo Group recently.
The eyewear giant manufactures sunglasses and frames for the likes of Dior, Moschino and Kate Spade.
Its senior director for Asia Pacific David Pearson said Levi’s® aims to be a significant player in the eyewear industry and sees great potential in Malaysia.
“This is the first launch we have done in a Levi’s® store globally so we are very excited about the line. We have invested in the size of the collection as we see huge potential for Malaysia,” he said to The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
He said the five-year partnership has a lot of synergy in it since style and designing is in both groups’ DNA.
“It seemed like the right fit and Safilo is proud to be bringing eyewear to a new generation, and we have worked very closely with the designers to create this curated line,” he said.
Pearson said the brand will definitely resonate well within the country as it is a market which is looking for more than just a branded name.
“Eyewear has moved away from being a necessity to more of an accessory, where people can truly express themselves. Levi’s® is a great step in that direction which is great for a market which is looking for quality and features as well,” he told TMR.
He added that the brand has attracted the younger crowd but really does not exclude anyone because it can be for anyone.
Designed with the fashion-forward in mind, the line’s sunglasses and optical frames will feature a wide range of functional but stylish designs to choose from.
“There are two segments within that, which is the style seeker for the fashion-savvy on edge and the other is the 501 collection which is a more classic set of designs to be worn for all occasions. This gives a broader appeal for everyone, there are even ones with the Levi’s® logo printed on the lens,” Pearson said.
The collection consists of 16 sunglasses and 19 optical frames, from refined square to retro round, while the line is enhanced with playful detailing, comfort and maximum functionality.
Its colours also draw inspiration from the shades of Levi’s® denim, including a range of blues, warm gradients of gold and orange mirror lenses as well as more classic and subtle tones of black, brown or grey.
Pearson said despite the eyewear industry being huge, Levi’s® sits perfectly at an intersection between quality product, great design and accessible pricing.
“Besides its styled design from a heritage brand, sustainability has also been a huge deal for us in terms of materials used, and it is managed closely,” he said.
The frames will be made in Hexetate, an innovative-patented acrylic resin with stronger technical and mechanical properties than acetate for more stable frames.
Meanwhile, Pearson said even though an online presence is important, having a psychical one that people can go to enhances the whole experience.
“There is no doubt that e-commerce is growing but the thing about eyewear is that it is very much on brick and mortar because it involves the fitting of lenses to get the best visual response possible.
“We are focused on optical retailers but we are aware of the different shopping habits that millennials have,” he noted.
Pearson said the group will look at expanding into other markets in the region like Japan, Singapore, and a few others to replicate the store in Kuala Lumpur.
“This is really an awesome environment to present a collection like this, as well as help people understand why Levi’s® is such a great brand.
“A store concept like this allows us to present the line in the best way possible,” he said.