Chiara Ferragni, Safilo Ink Eyewear License

Chiara Ferragni, Safilo Ink Eyewear License

MILAN — Chiara Ferragni continues to build her namesake fashion and accessories line.

On Monday, Ferragni and Safilo Group revealed they had inked a licensing agreement for the production and distribution of the first eyewear collection under the entrepreneur’s signature label.

It did not take long for the news, released before trading hours, to hit the market. Safilo shares jumped 12.2 percent at 1.93 euros by 9:15 a.m. CET on the Milan Stock Exchange.

The Chiara Ferragni optical and sun range will be unveiled for the spring 2022 season, hitting stores in January next year.

“We are excited to welcome to our portfolio one of the most famous and powerful digital entrepreneurs in the world,” said Safilo’s chief executive officer Angelo Trocchia. “Together, we want to create a new leading and digitally boosted fashion eyewear brand that directly speaks to new generations, working in synergy with the extraordinary power of Chiara’s global fan base to further strengthen the presence of Safilo in the digital universe. It represents a perfect fit in our brand portfolio and a significant opportunity for us to grow in the contemporary segment.”

The agreement with Ferragni is in line with Safilo’s recent digital transformation and will no doubt resonate with the younger generations and Ferragni’s 24.8 million followers on Instagram.

“Safilo represents not only excellence in eyewear but also, similarly to my brand, a great example of Italian spirit with a global reach,” said Ferragni, CEO and creative director of her namesake label. “They strongly believed in my brand and in developing this new category. I chose Safilo because of the connection I felt with their values, their innovation and commitment to excellence. We worked together to create the collection and I can’t wait to unveil it next year.”

This is the first eyewear collection under a license for Ferragni, although in March, as reported, she launched a sunglass capsule at Sunglass Hut and in Italy at Salmoiraghi & Viganò stores, both chains controlled by Luxottica, in an agreement with the Italian eyewear giant.

The Chiara Ferragni brand was launched in 2013 as a footwear label, and gradually introduced T-shirts and sweatshirts. For fall 2021, Ferragni introduced the first fall apparel collection produced by Swinger International, which also owns Genny and has long been manufacturing the Versace Jeans Couture line.

While she continues to build her social media following, Ferragni long ago distanced herself from the mere role of influencer, piling up modeling contracts and taking on the role in 2017 of president and CEO of Tbs, the company that manages her The Blonde Salad blog and activities. Ferragni is also the CEO and creative director of Fenice, which manages her namesake line.

Earlier this year, Ferragni said her goal was to reach sales of 15.4 million euros in 2025 with a net profit of 4.4 million euros, and an EBIT margin of 44 percent.

In November, the company signed a trio of deals to bolster its offerings. Aeffe Group-owned Velmar SpA that month signed a multiyear licensing agreement with Ferragni for the production and distribution of underwear and beachwear bowing for fall 2021. Velmar produces collections for Custo Barcelona in a licensing agreement.

Ferragni also revealed a five-year licensing agreement with Italian high-end children’s wear specialist Monnalisa to create apparel for children up to age 10 starting from the fall 2021 collection.

Last week, Ferragni was named global brand ambassador for Swiss watchmaker Hublot, as reported. She became ambassador for Bulgari and hairstyling and appliance brand GHD earlier this year, in addition to earlier deals with the likes of Pomellato and Lancôme. In April, she joined the board of Tod’s and in June, she gained full control of Tbs Crew Srl.

Safilo has been successfully rebalancing its brand portfolio and has seen a strong momentum in the U.S., China and online, as well as an increase in prescription frame sales, which helped the Italian eyewear company return to profit and report an increase in revenues in the first half, with a rebound well-above the first half of 2019.

In the six months ended June 30, Safilo reported an adjusted net profit of 4.4 million euros, compared with an adjusted net loss of 63.7 million euros in the same period last year.

In the first half of 2021, revenues totaled 510.7 million euros, up 52.2 percent compared with 335.6 million euros in the same period last year. Compared to the first half of 2019, sales increased 3 percent.

Following the exit of licensed brands Dior, Max Mara and, from the end of June, Fendi, Safilo has been rebalancing its stable of brands with the arrival of new proprietary and licensed labels, from Blenders and Privé Revaux, to Levi’s, David Beckham, Missoni, Ports, Isabel Marant and Under Armour — effectively compensating for the licenses terminated at the end of 2020. In May, Safilo inked a license with Dsquared2 and, in July with Carolina Herrera.

In the second quarter of 2021, the group’s online business was up 64 percent compared with the same period last year, reaching 14.4 percent of total sales, thanks to the contribution of Blenders’ e-commerce sales and to the revenues generated through the internet pure players and to Smith’s direct-to-consumer channel.

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