Vice president of sales and marketing at Charmant, Chris Beal, tells OT that “opportunities exist in many guises”
Can you tell me three interesting facts about Charmant?
- We are number one in the world for titanium eyewear production and were the first to introduce it into eyewear in 1982
- We own our manufacturing headquarters in Sabae, Japan and distribute in over 100 countries worldwide
- We hold a total of four patents for our manufacturing equipment, processes and titanium material.
What makes your eyewear unique?
Owning our supply chain from design to delivery ensures that we can be at the forefront of cutting-edge development, technology and quality, which is all under our control. We only use the highest quality Japanese titanium, which is fully traceable from source. Being a global group with wholly owned subsidiaries we can take inspiration from across the world to ensure we develop eyewear that appeals on a universal stage.
What is the latest collection that Charmant has released and why does it stand out from the crowd?
All our collections have had spring/summer 2019 releases in the first quarter of the year. A brand new collection launch is our Charmant by Caroline Abram limited edition titanium capsule. Here we have an alliance between precision and sensuality, quality and elegance, strength and comfort. Charmant recognises the power of the Caroline Abram brand, which is driven by the designer’s charisma and creativity and how it enhances a woman’s style by adding a delicious touch of glamour. In Charmant, Caroline Abram has a dynamic, global partner that stands at the confluence of modern, high technology and Japanese values and traditions.
How are your customers responding to the company’s latest styles?
We have had a very strong start to the year and overall the reactions have been fantastic and this is showing in our growth figures.
What are Charmant’s main ambitions for the next 12 months?
The group will continue to consolidate its number one position in Japan and grow in the Asia Pacific region. The Americas has acquired exciting new customers and will perform strongly there. In our European region we have compelling plans in place for very powerful growth particularly under our Charmant brand umbrella.
What are the current challenges and opportunities that optics is facing?
Consolidation is always an issue and the best way to manage this. As with every business worldwide economics play a factor. Opportunities exist in many guises globally, for example ageing populations increase projected eyewear use and the sunglasses sector continues to look strong for the forthcoming years. Needless to say, we have plans in place to maximise areas of opportunity wherever possible.
We only use the highest quality Japanese titanium which is fully traceable from source
Are there any new products in development that customers should be aware of?
We are constantly developing new products from our Japanese and European hubs so keep your eyes peeled for the next round of releases in 2019.
What are your predictions for eyewear trends in 2019?
The metal trend will continue to grow and be very strong especially in titanium. Styling here will be sleek, sophisticated and discretely elegant with minimalist being a key word.
The retro vintage look will plateau and designs will be inspired by art and industrial architecture moving forward. Geometrics will continue to be developed along with retro rectangular shapes and updated revisions of the aviator. Round eye shapes will still feature in fine materials with subtle colouring.
All things Japanese is a huge trend and as that is our heritage, origin and base we are well placed.
In terms of colours, nature is the key inspriation. With the rising attention to sustainability the following trend colours have a role to play: Neutrals in warm and balanced mid-tones versus cooler neutrals inspired by urban environments as a counterbalance; and rich classic tones will play a key role in the upcoming seasons.