While the second-largest professional manufacturer and the second-largest luxury group are each doing their best, both the first-largest professional manufacturer and the first-largest luxury group seem to be still accumulating strength.
As early as 2017, the Italian Luxottica Group, the world’s largest eyewear manufacturer, and Essilor, the largest eyeglass manufacturer, announced a merger, combining the full-line production business of lens manufacturing and eyeglass frames to become the EssilorLuxottica Group, with a total market value of 59 billion euros. The following year reported revenue of EUR 16.160 billion. As the parent company of sunglasses brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley, EssilorLuxottica also owns the eyewear agency rights for luxury brands such as Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Prada, Burberry, etc.
In the past two years, EssilorLuxottica has not made major moves in investment and financing, but instead chose to strengthen in-depth cooperation with technology companies such as Meta’s predecessor Facebook. In September 2021, EssilorLuxottica released smart glasses Ray-Ban Stories in partnership with Facebook via Ray-Ban. Although it is called smart glasses and is equipped with a camera, this glasses do not realize any kind of digital display, its function is more to capture images, video and sound, so this product is considered to be the real AR that Facebook will launch in the future Spectacle test.
Ray-Ban launches AR glasses. In response, Alex Himel, VP of AR at Facebook Reality Labs, said: “The world’s most iconic glasses, sold by the world’s biggest and best companies, what better way to start?” Wearable device Rocco Basilico hinted that through the cooperation with Facebook, smart wearable technology may one day be extended to 20 other cooperative brands under the group.
Considering Facebook’s pursuit of and investment in the concept of the metaverse after changing its name to Meta, as a partner of “love and happiness”, the continuous advancement into the field of smart glasses may be the choice for EssilorLuxottica in the face of fierce market competition. Find another way.
As for the largest luxury group LVMH, in addition to investing in Italian eyewear manufacturer Marcolin and holding 51% of the shares and becoming the second largest shareholder of Korean brand Gentle Monster with its fund company L Catterton Asia, LVMH has not yet seen eyeglasses. There are important initiatives on the business side. But according to Bernard Arnault’s consistent style, before he retired at the age of 80 and completed the siege of the high-end watch field, whether LVMH group will start a strong attack on the eyewear market is also a very debatable issue.
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