Lacoste to Change Eyewear Partnership in 2011; Marchon to Launch New Sun and Optical Lines

PARIS—After what the two companies describe as a five-year-long “fruitful and productive cooperation,” Lacoste S.A. and Charmant Group announced yesterday their decision to end their partnership for eyewear products.

In January 2011, the Lacoste eyewear licence will be taken over by Marchon Eyewear, Inc.

Charmant had become the worldwide licensee of Lacoste S.A. in 2006 and had “helped the brand significantly to improve the quality of its products thanks to an outstanding manufacturing know-how, positioning Lacoste among the highest standards of the market,” the companies’ statement said.

“We are grateful to Charmant for their help in building this business and for reinforcing the Lacoste brand in the eyewear market. Now we are starting a new phase of the Lacoste accessories’ development with Marchon Eyewear, Inc.,” said Christophe Chenut, CEO of Lacoste S.A. “With Marchon’s great expertise in design and R&D, Lacoste will accentuate the innovative and fashion attributes of its eyewear lines. Simultaneously, the Crocodile brand will strengthen the global distribution of its eyewear through Marchon’s worldwide network.”

Marchon Eyewear will design, produce and sell the Lacoste sunwear and optical collections under the control of Lacoste S.A. The new sunglasses will be previewed at the Lacoste Spring-Summer 2011 fashion show in New York later this month. Sun and optical collections will be shown at Silmo in Paris in September as well as at International Vision Expo West in Las Vegas in October.

“Lacoste is known for elegant easy-to-wear products which are functional and of high quality.,” said Claudio Gottardi, president of Marchon and CEO Marchon International. “We love their ability to develop pure, classic designs which enrich and enhance their unique European style. The brand will greatly complement our brand portfolio.”

The debut collection will include 49 sun and 36 optical styles. The collection will be sold at Lacoste flagship locations worldwide, department stores, select stores and top optical stores worldwide.

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