Italia Independent has an agreement since last March with Essilor Italia, which will supply its latest generation of ophthalmic lenses on an exclusive basis for the frames that the Italian company will sell its eight concept stores.

All in Italy, these stores also sell other fashion products under the same brand name. Italian Independent has just opened its third store in Palermo, Sicily. It is the second one operating under its contract with Essilor. The company is planning to open other points of sale in Italy and abroad.

The prescription service is not yet offered in Italia Independent's network of 40 shop-in-shops, up from seven it had one year ago. Another 22 are due to open in Italy by the end of this year, and there are plans for extending this format to other countries.

Italia Independent has strengthened its presence in markets judged as strategically important, both in Europe and in the rest of the world. It has offices in France and Spain, a sales office in Dubai, and subsidiaries in Miami and Tokyo, which were inaugurated at the end of last year.

Italia Independent raised its consolidated sales by 73.4 percent to €18.4 million in the first nine months of 2013, with eyewear taking on the lion's share of the turnover. As in the first half, the operating margin before amortization (Ebitda) reached a level of 18.9 percent, growing by 74 per cent compared with the first nine months of 2012. In 2012 the group had generated sales of €20 million last year. Of those, €12 million came from eyewear, whose sales doubled between 2011 and 2012.

Owned by Lapo Elkann, whose family controls Fiat, and run by Andrea Tessitore, Italia Independent prides itself on selling only products that are made in Italy. As a group, it is also involved in seven other areas including the development of advertising campaigns and events through a company called Independent Ideas.

Meanwhile, Italy Independent has launched a model of sports glasses dedicated to Pol Espargaró, the sponsored Spanish motorcycle racer who became world champion this year in the Moto2 class.