Valentino moves to Akoni under new eyewear deal that starts in 2022
Valentino has switched eyewear partners and has announced a new deal with Switzerland-based Akoni Group for the design, manufacture and worldwide distribution of its eyewear products after previously working with Luxottica in a partnership that had been scheduled to last several more years.
The 10-year agreement starts next July when the first new styles will be released to market. The launch collection will then be officially introduced at the Valentino SS23 RTW fashion show.
The company said it chose Akoni Group as it “shares the Valentino brand’s values as demonstrated by its passion for innovative design, impeccable craftsmanship, unrivalled quality, and social consciousness”.
The new products will “embody the Valentino Couture approach by utilising the finest materials and a combination of time-honoured and cutting-edge production techniques. A product that will reflect the values and unique creativity of the Maison”, we’re told.
There’s been quite a lot of change in eyewear deals for high-end labels of late as — like the fragrance sector — the sunglasses and optical frames market continues to be a key entry point consumers to get a taste of what the labels have to offer. The high-margin sector has shown plenty of buoyancy at its very upper end and labels are seeking to work with partners that will best represent their overall luxe image.
Based in Lugano, Akoni Group was founded in 2019 by eyewear specialist Rosario Toscano with Salma Rachid its creative chief.
The firm focuses on ultra-high-end eyewear manufactured in Japan. As well as its own brand, it also makes products for Balmain (like Valentino, owned by Mayhoola for Investments) under a deal won almost two years ago.
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