Hong Kong-based Lezoptics is a typical Chinese eyewear manufacturer, one of many that now make up Asia's industrial strength, a product of the globalization process and the bugbear of the eyewear industry. The group was established in 1985 by an investment fund that then entrusted it to a group of managers. The current general manager is a young woman named Cherie Lee, who presented a very honorable 25-year-old business at the recent Silmo show in Paris. The investment fund owns the Hong Kong-based company and the 10,000-square-meter production facilities in nearby Dongguan on the banks of the Pearl River, with a 70-strong workforce.

The company offers design services to the global market, with the possibility of adapting the design of a brand to current fashions. It employs five designers and five assistants, who have also produced a house brand identified by the company name. Lezoptics has set out to demonstrate that a low-cost product doesn't necessarily mean low quality: The company has succeeded, for example, in keeping the percentage of rejects down to 2 percent of total production ? amounting to 100,000 frames a month ? including RX sunglasses.

The company's entire production is delivered to Europe, where Italy represents around a quarter of the total. There are plans to enter the Canadian and Japanese markets, with direct sales. With the exception of 2009, when the recession halved profits, Lezoptics generates sales of around $12 million a year, with annual growth at around 10 percent. The company does not reveal the detail of its European client base, apart from the fact that it is equally open to large and small customers, as long as they pay their bills.