This big American brand of polarized sunglasses has set up its own fully owned sales operations in Germany, Italy and the UK over the last few months, hiring experienced professionals to run them. Michel Joffre, the Frenchman who has been running Maui Jim's European activities directly out of France for about 4 years, wants to do in those countries now what he has accomplished in his native country, where sales have continued to rise, with a growth rate approaching 35 percent so far this year. Precise figures could not be obtained.

For the UK business, Joffre is working with Sean Collin, who was formerly responsible for the Dolce & Gabbana collection at Marcolin. Maui Jim's Italian operation in Verona is run by Michele Franzoso, formerly employed by Luxottica in Switzerland. The German and Austrian markets are covered by Hans-Jürgen Penzek, who was covering those territories for Lantis Eyewear when it still had the Tommy Hilfiger license. Joffre is now looking for a sales manager in Spain.