Top 3 International Eyewear Manufacturers: Build the Luxury
What were once mere instruments used to correct and improve vision, primarily for the purpose of reading, now sit at the pinnacle of luxury fashion and aesthetics. We are, of course, talking about eyewear here: a prominent accessory and a fashion staple comprising of everything from eyeglasses for reading to designer sunglasses – the epitome of luxury eyewear.
And for that, we have the leading international eyewear manufacturers to thank for.
Over the last century or so, the biggest players in the world of optical eyewear and luxury eyewear have relentlessly innovated and perfected the art of design, precision engineering, functionality, and visual prowess to create an industry that delivers reliable, stylish, and highly innovative products for one and all. As of 2022, the global eyewear industry was worth an astonishing $169.9 billion, as per Grand View Research. It is also expected to grow further at a CAGR of 8.5% between 2023 to 2030.
Such emphatic growth is often credited to the best eyewear manufacturers of the world, such as the Luxottica Group, who have played a big role in amplifying the status of eyewear in the society. Along with Luxottica, who are the other top 2 eyewear manufacturers in the world who made luxury eyewear a celebrated, ever-evolving trend and a model of design and material innovation? Let us take a closer look.
1. Essilor Luxottica SA
Founded in: 2018
Based in: Paris, France
Founded by: Leonardo Del Vecchio and Hubert Sagnières
Next up, we have the famous EssilorLuxottica SA – the parent company of both Luxottica and Essilor: two of the biggest eyewear manufacturers in the world. Before the merger of these two, Essilor was the world’s largest manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses for protective and corrective eyewear. They even created the world’s first progressive lenses and continue to break the barriers when it comes to lenses and other optical eyewear technology.
As the new merged eyewear manufacturer, EssilorLuxottica is the largest player in the industry. Not only does it have a significant retail portfolio linked to Luxottica but also numerous proprietary lens technologies that have completely changed the world of eyewear, such as: Crizal, Essilor, Kodak, Eyezen, Oakley, Optifog, Varilux, Experio, Ray-Ban, etc. It has 660 production facilities and labs worldwide. In 2022, the manufacturer reportedly generated a whopping $24.49 billion in revenue!
2. Safilo Group S.p.A.
Founded in: 1934
Based in: Padua, Italy
Founded by: Guglielmo Tabacchi
One of the oldest eyewear manufacturing companies in the world, Safilo Group was established after the purchase of an iconic lens and frame manufacturing site that began in 1878. Since then, the Safilo Group has grown into one of the premier eyewear designers, producers, and suppliers for a variety of purposes and industries: sports such as skiing and cycling, military, fashion, etc.
Like other manufacturers in the list, Safilo owns its fair share of house and licensed eyewear brands. While the former includes the likes of Carrera and Smith Optics, the latter include Hugo, Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Jimmy Choo, Pierre Cardin, Fossil, Rebecca Minkoff, Marc Jacobs, Isabel Marant, and more.
The Safilo Group aims to create best-in-class optical eyewear and luxury eyewear that enables wearers ‘see the world at its best’. Its Global Innovation Centre and the Product Certification Lab prioritise exceptional engineering, precision and quality through its frames. They’ve also been responsible for innovating a new, highly sustainable plastic material for frames called Econyl regenerated nylon!
3. Kering Eyewear
Founded in: 2014
Based in: Padova, Italy
Founded by: Roberto Vedovotto
Last but not the least, we have the Italian eyewear manufacturing behemoth – the famous Kering Eyewear, part of the global luxury Kering Group, hailing from Padova, Italy. What started off as a venture to create an eyewear outlet for its portfolio of jewellery and luxury brands in 2014 has now reached the heights of avant-garde design, development and distribution of luxury eyewear in collaboration with some of the world’s most famous fashion houses.
Today, Kering Eyewear boasts at least 17 globally revered luxury fashion brands under its eyewear portfolio, designing and manufacturing breath-taking, trendy frames and specs for the likes of Gucci, Cartier, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Alaïa, Courrèges, Montblanc, Puma, and more. The eyewear giant has a presence in 130 countries and continues to steer towards sustainability and innovation in engineering, keeping the Italian manufacturing tradition alive and kicking!
Now you know who are the makers of the most iconic and stylish pairs of luxury eyewear and designer sunglasses in the world. The above-mentioned three eyewear manufacturers remain the best in business, enabling the most popular and well-loved eyewear brands of the world carve a niche identity for themselves. Not only do these manufacturers enable the industry to stay on top of the latest runway trends, but continue to keep it fresh through innovation in engineering and design. Only true passion and dedication at heart can create such a powerful legacy!