Blackfin is still a relatively small player in the global eyewear market, but it continues to grow at a double-digit rate, and its parent company, Pramaor, is adapting to the rising demand with further investments in the manufacturing apparatus and the creation of new management positions.
As previously reported, Pramaor's sales jumped by 30 percent to €10.1 million in 2017, with particularly strong increases in Germany and Demark (Eyewear Intelligence Vol. 19 N° 2+3, Feb. 27, 2018). The first half of 2018 saw an 11 percent rise in revenues to €6.3 million for the Italian company, which specializes in the manufacture of titanium frames at its own factory, and this growth rate expected to hold over the next 12 months.
Blackfin has already renovated its headquarters and expanded its original factory. Now a second, adjoining factory will be ready by October, raising production from the current 150,000 pieces per year to 400,000.
In terms of management, the company has added the position of global commercial director and conferred it on an experienced 55-year-old manager, Mario Viel, who will report directly to Nicola Del Din, owner and chief executive of the company.
Viel will lead the sales and distribution team at the international level. He previously spent almost twenty years at Luxottica, first as key account manager, then as sales director for Italy. Four years ago, he joined Marchon Italia as sales director.
As we already reported last month, Blackfin also has a new marketing manager, Simone Favero. He has worked in marketing and communications for several companies, among them Standex International and Calzaturificio Scarpa. The 35-year-old manager will be tasked with coordinating the communications, visual and trade-marketing team.
Blackfin is investing in product innovation as well. The particular finish on a new collection, the Blackfin Black Edition, combines delicate details with durability, through a proprietary, patented treatment, called Blackfin Nano-Plating. With this exclusive process, Blackfin vaporizes metal particles in a vacuum and deposits them on an eyeglass frame atom by atom, achieving special chromatic effects. It uses gold for a limited collection made with this method, charging prices of up to €600 per frame. The new collection's base price is about €310 per frame in Europe and about $450 in the U.S.
Germany has become the biggest market for Blackfin, with a share of almost 30 percent of total sales. Italy comes next, with 25 percent of the turnover, followed by the U.S. with a share of 16 percent.