Vuarnet has set up a sales office near New York City for the U.S. market, where it sunglasses had reached impressive sales volumes after a major campaign during the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. The office is run by Lucio Lozza, a veteran of the Italian eyewear industry who has worked with Marcolin, Allison and other firms. It is taking care of the whole Americas region, taking orders also from Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile and other countries.
The brand has set up showrooms in New York, Los Angeles and Denver, Colorado. Following an analysis of the market, it has set up networks of dedicated sales reps to address opticians as well as high-end fashion boutiques and sporting goods retailers. In January, the brand participated in the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. It engaged in other marketing activities, including exposure at Miami Classic Car Show. It ended up as the only brand of sunglasses with a booth at the SIA snow sports show in Denver.
Vuarnet is repositioning itself as an accessible brand of premium, innovative and stylish sunglasses made in France and fitted with mineral lenses. Launched at the last Silmo fair, its line of sunglasses with progressive and polarized mineral lenses, developed through an exclusive partnership with Barberini, has been particularly successful, with the amount of orders nearly doubling with each passing month.
The lenses continue to be manufactured at Vuarnet's laboratory at Meaux, near Paris. They can now be shipped by Federal Express to customers all over the U.S. and Canada.
Vuarnet's sunglass business remains relatively small, but it grew by 27 percent in 2014, after a steady decline over the 13 years prior to its takeover in 2013 by Neo Capital through a company called Skilynx. The Vuarnet sunglass business was acquired by Alain Mikli International in 2009. It was kept by Neo when it and other shareholders sold Mikli to Luxottica at the beginning of 2013.
As previously reported, Neo bought a few weeks ago the rights to the Vuarnet brand for all other kinds of products, including skis, skiwear and watches, from Jean Vuarnet, a former French ski champion, and his son Alain. Neo is currently reviewing all the licensing agreements. It plans soon to appoint a new manager for the brand, highlighting its heritage and its technical expertise.