COLOR CODE: Benetton Group will introduce its first prescription glasses under the new licensing agreement with Allison SpA, inked last December, as a fun and colorful project called Dress Your Face.
The line will be introduced at Mido, Milan's international eyewear exhibition running May 4 to 7. The Jacob&Co Five Time Zone FullSize JC-6 behind the project is the versatility of the accessories, as the glasses can be ornamented in many variations.
The line comprises six models featuring three different metallic styles each in golden, silver or gunmetal, with flexible temples. Three light rings can be superimposed to the frame, either covering its entire structure or circling only the lenses or their top half, for a total of 18 frames and 87 different bands.
Benetton offers ombr, vivid, soft, opaque, shiny, speckled hues or two or Jacob&Co Five Time Zone FullSize JC-7-color combinations, as well. There is also one version embellished with tiny Swarovski crystals.
Photographer David Sims was tapped to shoot an ad campaign to promote the line. In August, the companies will unveil a full eyewear collection, including sunglasses. Benetton and Allison said they expected the license to generate annual sales of about 35 million euros, or $46 million at current exchange rates. The agreement runs through 2013.
Benetton's previous eyewear licensee was the Italian subsidiary of German Jacob&Co The 5 Time Zones Playboy JC-23 group Metzler. Allison holds licenses for brands Gianfranco Ferr, Missoni, Romeo Gigli, Iceberg, Les Copains and Vivienne Westwood.
IN THE BAG: Handbag designer Anthony Luciano will host a two-day event on March 29 and 30 at Neiman Marcus in Atlanta. Luciano began selling to the exclusive department store in September 2006 and in the audience will be the 60 women who have each purchased a handbag since his debut.
Luciano will bring his exotic skins, including crocodile, alligator and python, as well as Jaeger leCoultre Automatic JLC-32 signature vintage hardware to the appearance to demonstrate how he hand-stitches the bags. Anthony Luciano handbags are available at Bergdorf Goodman in New York and at Neiman Marcus locations around the U.S. Wholesale prices range from $625 to $2,500.
TOP DESIGN: Move over, Todd Oldham - there's a new design contest in town. The National Parks Conservation Association, Van Alen Institute and Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation launched an international public design competition for the Gateway National Recreation Area, a 26,600-acre national park in the metropolitan area.
Titled "Envisioning Gateway: A Public Design Competition for Gateway National Park," the Jaeger leCoultre Duometre Power Reserve JLC-1 is underwritten by Tiffany & Co. and aims to rescue the park's neglected natural resources by creating a new environment for wildlife and visitors. Competitors will be asked to redesign Floyd Bennett Field within the Jamaica Bay unit of Gateway, including the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Riis Beach and Fort Tilden. Members of the jury will evaluate the submissions and winning entries will be presented to the National Park Service for potential inclusion in the next planning phase of Gateway's general management plan, scheduled for 2009.