LVMH Buys Luxury Eyewear Brand Barton Perreira
LVMH is buying luxury eyewear brand Barton Perreira, famed for making James Bond’s shades, as it taps into the fast-growing designer sunglass market, reports CNBC. LVMH’s Thelios eyewear division agreed to acquire Irvine, California-based Barton Perreira for an undisclosed sum. The deal is Thelio’s second big acquisition in two months, after it bought French Alpine brand Vuarnet in September.
LVMH launched Thelios in 2017 to produce eyewear for LVMH’s in-house brands, including Louis Vuitton, Celine, Loewe, and Berluti. The deal for Barton Perreira highlights the growing importance of eyewear for LVMH and the luxury industry. Barton Perreira has a cult-like following among Hollywood stars and collectors of high-end sunglasses and frames. Its models typically retail for $500 or $600, and its limited edition designs, made in small quantities, are especially coveted.
Total Retail's Take: LVMH’s acquisition of Barton Perreira shows that despite a global slowdown in the luxury business, the company is seeking acquisition targets that fit its long-term ambitions. LVMH executives say downturns offer an opportunity to gain market share and make acquisitions, as competitors cut spending and valuations become more attractive.
Luxury eyewear, which includes sunglasses and optical eyewear, is growing rapidly across the world. “For the maisons of luxury, eyewear is in many cases the first contact point with consumers,” said Alessandro Zanardo, CEO of Thelios. Eyewear is a lower-priced entry point to luxury brands for younger consumers, and more affordable for luxury shoppers tightening their wallets during uncertain economics times. Zanardo said Barton Perreira was an ideal fit for LVMH because of its commitment to quality, which has become more important as consumers develop a "sensibility for what luxury eyewear is.”
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Total Retail and sister brands Women in Retail Leadership Circle and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality at NAPCO Media. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for all brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, WLT&H or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment—or at home on Zoom—recording interviews with thought leaders and business executives.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her family and two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.