Ioves, an Italian eyewear manufacturer operating since 1950 in the Cadore district, has acquired a global three-year license for sunglasses named after Alviero Martini, an Italian brand of leathergoods and vintage travel bags. The license had been for many years in the portfolio of Sover, another Italian company that closed down at the end of 2013.

Other licenses held by Sover, such as Laura Biagiotti, have since found other takers. Alviero Martini suspended its eyewear line, but it has now decided to return to the market after five years, using a consulting firm, Eyes4you, to help find the eyewear company best suited for a relaunch.

Ioves has not had a license lately, but it had worked in the past with other fashion brands such as Renato Balestra, Gattinoni and Cesare Paciotti. In the meantime, the company has continued to grow by working through two other channels: subcontracting and its traditional house brand, West.

Ioves has been performing well as a producer of private label glasses for large international optical chains, including some U.S. companies that stopped working in the past few years with Chinese subcontractors, which are demanding big orders at higher prices due to rising labor costs. Many are returning to the Cadore district also to exploit the added value of the “Made in Italy” mark. It is a growing trend. Ioves is one of the few independent manufacturers in Europe that are able to produce good-quality glasses at a rate of over half a million pieces a year, with a potential for even higher capacities.

West represents about two-thirds of Ioves' turnover, which the company does not want to disclose, while a third comes from private label. Ioves sells this line through a network of 18 direct agents in Europe, ten of whom operate in Italy, four in Spain and four in Germany. It also has distributors in 50 countries around the world.

This sales structure is deemed to be sufficient to also support the sale of the new licensed brand. It will be presented at Mido with a preview of ten vintage models with decorations on the temples that recall the ocher color of Alviero Martini's leather handbags.