REM Eyewear, the U.S.-based licensee of Converse and other brands, has set a new independent fashion division, called Base Curve, which is coming to the market with two lines sunglasses and prescription frames bearing the names of two well-known fashion designers - Carolina Herrera for women's styles and John Varvatos for men's. Aimed at the high end of the market, the two collections will be presented at the Vision Expo East show in New York this March.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America picked Herrera as Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2004 and Varvatos as the 2005 Menswear Designer of the Year. Base Curve has signed a global licensing deal for Varvatos, who did not have an eyewear line before. He launched his own fashion house in 2000. The John Varvatos line will be manufactured in Japan, using special materials and techniques.

Dressed by Jacqueline Onassis and other celebrities, Herrera has been around for a longer time. Base Curve will sublicense the Herrera line from its Spanish master licensee, INDO, with the right to market it in the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and New Zealand. REM has a long-standing cooperation with INDO, which is selling the Converse line in Spain.

For now, the two brands are the only ones planned for REM's new division. Chief Executive of Base Curve is Mike Hundert, who also heads up REM. Heike Kremser is its newly appointed managing director. Blake Kuwahara, creative director and designer of REM Eyewear, has the same role at Base Curve. Kremser joined the group recently after working at Eyeota, where Kuwahara had contributed to the design of its KATA Eyewear collection.