announced its entrance into the luxury-eyewear business Tuesday, signing a 10-year licensing deal with Milan's
Under the agreement, Luxottica, which also licenses eyewear to the likes of Burberry, Chanel, Prada and Versace, will design, manufacture and distribute prescription glasses and sunglasses using the Tiffany brand name.
After designing and producing jewelry and accessories for nearly 170 years, entering into high-end eyewear seemed like "a natural addition" for Tiffany, said Michael Kowalski, the company's chairman and chief executive, in a statement.
"Tiffany's success has always been tied to offering a wide range of extraordinary product designs, in jewelry, timepieces, tableware and accessories," Kowalski went on to say. "We are pleased to establish this relationship with Luxottica, which we believe will generate exciting designs for our customers."
Further, Tiffany's entrance into this market "demonstrates that eyewear has evolved into a high-style, luxury accessory," said Andrea Guerra, Luxottica's CEO.
The companies plan to launch the first collection of glasses in Tiffany stores and exclusive eyewear retailers in early 2008. Luxottica expects the line to have at least 50 million euros (about $67 million) in annual revenue.