Sàfilo Group launches its Balenciaga Sunwear collection, consisting of 10 styles (seven plastics and three metals), all designed for women. Echoing the futuristic spirit and couture style that distinguishes Balenciaga designs, the eyewear revolves around pure shapes. Styles range from oversized vintage to more contemporary wraps. Colors include classic tones of black, white and gold as well as more modern hues of ruthenium, palladium, red and matte blue in the metals and combinations of orange/crystal/purple, green/crystal, red/fuchsia/crystal, vintage havana and brown striated in the plastics. Details consist of the double “B” mirrored logo and signature screws inserted on the temple tips. A Balenciaga ophthalmic collection is scheduled to follow in September 2008.

Photographed by Annie Gallagher/Black box studio

PHILOSOPHY: “We are very excited to introduce this newest luxury brand from the Gucci Group family. The Balenciaga Sunwear collection is representative of the brand’s trendsetting point-of-view and is targeted to a sophisticated group of consumers who appreciate high fashion and unique styling,” says Dick Russo, Sàfilo USA executive vice president.

MARKETING: Merchandising materials include a one-place highlighter, three-place display, visual box with image and logo plaque. A consumer advertising campaign will be conducted.

PRICE POINT: $$$$$. For additional information, contact SàfiloUSA, (800) 631-1188, www.safilousa.com

Balenciaga was founded in Paris in 1937 by Cristobal Balenciaga, widely regarded as one of the most influential couturiers of all time. In 2001, Gucci Group acquired the brand in partnership with Nicolas Ghesquiere, who is also artistic director. The House of Balenciaga creates women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, bags, shoes and other accessories.