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Friday / June 24.
HomemifashionEyewear of The Stars

Eyewear of The Stars

Celebrity endorsement of fashion eyewear brands can be a double-edged sword. One minute your brand can be fying high on the wings of a phoenix rising, only for their star to come plummeting back to earth as the star goes into meltdown.

Of course, a star going into meltdown … or rehab … or worse, is not the norm but there is a risk for any brand riding on the back of celebrity endorsement.

Some major fashion houses rely heavily on getting their frames onto the ‘right’ people. If the product genuinely matches the star’s personality, then everyone’s a winner. The public will want a slice of the ‘popularity pie’ and the brand will enjoy an increased profile and sales.

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“Of course, a star going into meltdown….or rehab…. or worse, is not the norm but there is a risk for any brand riding on the back of celebrity endorsement”

Luxottica, the world’s largest licensed fashion eyewear manufacturer, utilises star power effectively. Ray-Ban is its f lagship brand and the most popular eyewear brand in the world. It is the perfect example of successful celebrity endorsement.

“With Ray-Ban we find that our ambassadors choose the brand because of what the brand means to them – from musicians who identify with their past heroes like Bob Dylan or Debbie Harry who were consistently seen in their Wayfarers, or actors wanting to capture the spirit of a John Belushi or Audrey Hepburn, who were also Ray-Ban icons from the past,” says Samantha De Kauwe, the Wholesale Marketing Manager for Luxottica Australia.

She says, for other brands, “the personality and image of a celebrity must complement the brand’s values and aesthetics – such as being fun, fashionable and playful for Vogue or sleek and sophisticated for Persol.”

Designer Frederic Beausoleil, sees himself as “an artist designing for other artists” with his Beausoleil brand and feels if a celebrity chooses to wear his brand, “it is far more authentic than if they are paid to contractually endorse a logo”.

Tom Ford eyewear is a favourite on the red carpet. Tom Ford himself has become a star in his own right. After initial success designing for Gucci and YSL over the last few years, he has forged his own brand. Stars are drawn to the charisma and style of his eyewear with many celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Demi Moore and Charlize Theron electing to wear his eyewear.

Another Marcolin label, Dsquared2, combines controlled star endorsement with the risk from the paparazzi’s camera lens, with supermodels Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista being two of the public faces of Dsquared2. Along with these drawcards are the off-duty stars snapped in this brand including: Dita Von Teese, Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez and Zac Effron.

Sama and Loree Rodkin eyewear by designer Sheila Vance have built a heightened reputation among Hollywood’s elite attracting celebrity wearers such as Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lopez. The glamorous Loree Rodkin Eye Couture by Sama is a favourite amongst celebrities such as Elton John, Cher and Steven Tyler.

Others to make their mark on Hollywood’s elite include American design team Mark Badgley and James Mischka with their glamorous, stylish and elegant evening wear. Their sophisticated designs appeal to women of all ages and caters for the more ‘modern-couture’ customer with stars like Madonna, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker and Ashley Judd all donning their lines. In 2006, the design duo joined forces with Sama to create Badgley Mischka Couture Eyewear, a stunning collection of ophthalmics and sunglasses for women and men that remains true to Badgley Mischka’s design philosophy and recalls the ‘Golden Age of Hollywood.’

DISTRIBUTORS

  • Colab Eyewear ……………….. (AUS) 02 8436 6677
  • European Eyewear ………….. (AUS) 03 9877 7956
  • Eyemakers ……………………. (AUS) 02 9960 7766
  • Healy …………………………… (AUS) 02 9420 3200
  • L’Amy …………………………… (AUS) 02 9428 1500
  • Luxottica ………………………. (AUS) 02 9815 2500
  • Opticare ……………………….. (AUS) 02 9748 8777


Sharon Smith is mivision’s fashion writer. Her eyewear columns in Australia and New Zealand have become a ‘must-read’ for both fashion-forward optical retailers and fashion editors.