Marketing manager at Eyespace Eyewear, Nicky Clement, tells OT about frame trends, launching Land Rover Eyewear and the effect of Brexit
Can you tell OT three interesting facts about the company?
- Eyespace launched in 2013, but our dynamic and innovative team shares over two centuries’ worth of industry-specific experience. It means we provide our customers with a modern, comprehensive and trusted experience when they choose to stock Eyespace frames
- We design and develop each of our products at our Worcestershire head office. ‘Britishness’ lives at the heart of our offering and is celebrated by customers both here in the UK and across the world
- Making fashion and luxury affordable is a company ethos. The design team is heavily influenced by the runways as well as art, interior design and architecture while prices remain affordable.
What makes your eyewear unique?
Every frame we create places the combination of style and fashion, wearer comfort and prescriptive needs at its core. To ensure that we successfully meet these objectives, we design every frame from the bridge out, incorporating the latest materials, cutting-edge components and the hottest trends into the design as it is developed.
What is the latest collection that you have released and why does it stand out from the crowd?
In March we launched Land Rover Eyewear. This has proven one of the most exciting moments for the Eyespace team. Comprising sunglasses and optical frames, the reception for this highly-structured 52-piece collection, which is injected with the lifestyle ethos Land Rover is renowned for, has exceeded all expectations.
"Every frame we create places the combination of style and fashion, wearer comfort and prescriptive needs at its core"
How are your customers responding to the company’s latest styles?
Ultimately, the response to buying preferences is seen in the repeat purchasing of a product, and we have seen a strong fashion-shift from plastic to metal models recently. The resurgence to more edgy, highly-stylised and minimalist metal designs swept across Europe and has been adopted surprisingly quickly by consumers in the UK. The change in direction is very exciting for us and while acetate sales remain incredibly strong, we are seeing these models selling in high quantities thanks to the designs being so wearable.
With the launch of the designer Land Rover collection we are experiencing record-breaking sell-in. Customers tell us this is based on the highly comprehensive offering and balanced designs, as well as the fact that Land Rover is a brand-new men’s designer brand that has exceptionally wide-ranging appeal. Style will always reign supreme, so it is a privilege to be delivering such innovative lifestyle products that customers cannot get enough of.
What are the company’s main ambitions for the next 12 months?
In the past year, we have grown our sales force, allowing us to put greater focus on supporting the independent market as we move into our next phase, establishing the much-anticipated luxury Range Rover collection later in 2018.
In line with the launch of our second designer brand comes another exciting push forward by widening our distribution into new global markets this year.
What external factors is the company taking into account when planning for the future, and why?
We love that frames are considered an influential fashion accessory for consumers today and therefore trend forecasting is a massive aspect of what we do. Launching frames that employ the shapes, colours, materials and technologies at the exact moment the market wants them is a precise art form. Engaging fully with the runway trends has a major influence in how, when and why we evolve our product collections.
One of the biggest external factors we are currently reacting to commercially is the effect Brexit is having on the economy. The decision to leave Europe carries opportunities for every business, so we are remaining agile, carefully analysing global and local market changes to ensure we support our existing business plans, while maintaining the best possible offering to our customers both here in the UK and across the world.
What do you predict eyewear trends to be in 2019?
Minimalist metals are set to remain top of the fashion trends in 2019. Taking inspiration from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, iconic retro design will remain popular. Expect to see A-listers wearing throwback pastel lenses in sunglasses. Considered design developments will be seen in the form of luxe finishings, original ‘Windsor’ rims, double-bridges and dual tones, which are instantly transformative whilst remaining incredibly wearable.
2019 will also provide us with extremes in frame choices. Smaller round-eye styles will be the vintage mainstay, while statement couture looks will renew the oversized trend, with everything from big-and-round eye shapes to extreme cat’s eye silhouettes taking eyewear to the next level.