Prada Designer Sunglasses

Georgia May JaggerGo to a sunglass counter at any department store and you’ll likely see a crowd willing to pay hundreds of dollars for the perfect pair of designer shades.

The money they’re spending is going to a single company that makes just about every designer eyewear brand you can think of. The company is called Luxottica, and it made 75 million glasses last year including Prada, Tiffany & Co ., Coach, Versace, Bulgari, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Ray-Ban and more.

The Italian company has practically taken over the eyewear market from manufacturing to distribution.

Luxottica produced 46.6 million sunglasses and 26.1 million prescription frames (it does not make prescription lenses.) Then it sold them through one of its 7, 000 retail stores like Sunglasses Hut, Pearle Vision or LensCrafters around the globe.

It also sells its products through third-parties like department stores, duty free shops and sporting goods stores for its Oakley brand.

Luxottica’s net sales have increased 36% since 2008 to $9.4 billion in 2012. In 2011, net sales were $8.2 billion. Net income was also up dramatically–39% since 2008 to $716 million in 2012. In 2011, net income was $597 million.

If you owned Luxottica shares at the start of the year you’d be up 24% compared with 13% for the S&P 500. Luxottica shares are up an impressive 114% over the last five years compared with 26% for the S&P.

By 1971, the company was able to produce a pair of glasses from start to finish. It then began wholesaling its first collection of eyewear.

Today, Luxottica has cut out the middle man. It controls the whole operation. Not only is it making the glasses it but it’s also selling them directly through Sunglasses Hut, Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision–all are owned by Luxottica.

That kind of model is known as vertical integration. It’s risky but it can work out very well and be extremely cost efficient.

60 Minutes on CBS last year interviewed Luxottica CEO Andrea Guerra about his company’s dominance in the eyewear space. He estimated some 500 million people were wearing his sunglasses around the world.

In addition to its 7, 000 retail stores and its roughly 10 production facilities the company owns some of the brands it sells including Ray-Ban which it bought in 1999, Oakley which it bought in 2007, Vogue, Oliver Peoples, Persol, Alain Mikli, Arnette and REVO. These proprietary brands accounted for 70% of frame sales with Ray-Ban and Oakley making up nearly 45% of the sales.

It licenses the other designer brands including Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Paul Smith, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Stella McCartney, Tiffany, Tory Burch, Versace and Armani.

The agreements with these brands are exclusive meaning no other manufacturer can make their glasses. They last from three to ten years.

Luxottica pays the designers a royalty of 5% to 14% of net sales and a marketing fee of 5% to 10% depending on the agreement. Prada and Dolce & Gabbana are the big money-makers for the company making up 3.9% and 2.6% of sales respectively.

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Luxottica Prada PR27NS Sunglasses-NAG/0A4 Havana Spotted Blue (Brown Gradient Lens)-55mm
Shoes (Luxottica)
  • MODEL: PR27NS Fashion Catwalk
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  • SIZE: 55mm - 22mm - 135mm (millimeters)
  • GENDER: Womens
  • WARRANTY: 1 Year

Wade-fishing tips from a retiring FWC staffer  — Hernando Today
Don't overfill your bait bucket. You only need 10 to 20 specimens at a time. More than that can kill the bait. ♢ Protect yourself from the sun. Kirkland wears long sleeves, a hat, a Buff and good polarizing sunglasses and says all are a must.

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Popular Q&A

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How TO authenticate Prada sunglasses?

In most cases, bootleg sunglasses will have a white brand name placed on the corner front of the lens. Try rubbing the logo with a wet cloth, if it comes off they are counterfeit! You can also take your glasses to an authorized dealer who may be able to confirm or deny if your glasses are indeed real or not.

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