Many years ago, I worked for Neostyle Eyewear (now Neostyle, Germany and Optylux) One of my favorite collections was the Solid Gold Collection, which was shown every year at Vision Expo. And yes, we placed the Solid Gold collection in eyewear boutiques. Surprisingly, the sell through was good. It’s not a product that would sell everyday- or even every month. But the offices that bought solid gold, were looking to increase their average transaction, offer a jewelry collection and appeal to their clients with more discriminating taste.
Just for fun, I went on eBay to see what they had available in Solid Gold and what the most expensive Eyewear they were selling.
Neostyle 18K Gold & Diamond Prescription Eyewear – Mozart From Paris Miki
Listed @ $9,999.00 – includes Free Shipping
AUTHENTIC Cartier SOLID 18K Gold sunglasses eyeglasses $1999.00
Solid Gold definitely fits the true description of Luxury Eyewear- although It appears that everybody has gotten into Luxury Eyewear Market. So what is Luxury Eyewear? Vision Monday offers some great insights on the Luxury Market stating it is part quality, price and exclusivity. From Wikipedia –Social Significance- “Certain manufactured products attain the status of “luxury goods” due to their design, quality, durability or performance that are remarkably superior to the comparable substitutes. Thus, virtually every category of goods available on the market today includes a subset of similar products whose “luxury” is marked by better-quality components and materials, solid construction, stylish appearance, increased durability, better performance, advanced features and so on. As such, these luxury goods retain or improve the basic functionality for which all items of a given category are originally designed.
There are also goods that are perceived as luxurious by the public simply because they play a role of status symbols as such goods tend to signify the purchasing power of those who acquire them. These items, while not necessarily being better (in quality, performance, or appearance) than their less expensive substitutes, are purchased with the main purpose of displaying wealth or income of their owners. These kinds of goods are the objects of a socio-economic phenomenon called conspicuous consumption and commonly include luxury cars, expensive watches andjewelry, designer clothing, yachts, and large residences such as McMansions, urban mansions and country houses.”
Eye Boogling Stats
- US Luxury Market- $170 billion and grew 7.9 percent.
- The watches and jewelry section showed the strongest performance, growing in value by 23.3 percent
- clothing and accessories section grew 11.6 percent between 1996 and 2000, to US$32.8 billion.
- North America is the largest regional market for luxury goods: unlike the modest 2.9 percent growth experienced by the Western European market, the North American market achieved growth of just under 10 percent.
- The top ten markets for luxury goods account for 83 percent of the market and include the US, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, UK, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland, and India.
Luxury Trivia – Neiman Marcus
- Before opening the first Neiman Marcus store, the founding team turned down an opportunity to purchase a franchise selling an obscure fountain drink called Coca Cola.
- Stanley Marcus (son of founder Herbert Marcus) created the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion, which is presented to fashion designers who influence the direction of the fashion industry.
- Neiman Marcus had the first customer loyalty program (InCircle), and the first in-store gift-wrapping service.
- Neiman Marcus was reportedly designer Coco Chanel’s favorite place to shop.
Whether you should carry solid gold or really high end luxury products is up to you and your staff. The upside- It will increase a talk factor, everybody will want to try them on. (how many people talk about a $30.00 frame?) People will talk about it- it’s news and it’s fun. Showing a $2,000 piece of eyewear will make everything else look cheap! You would definitely increase the average transaction! You will appeal to those interested in the status symbol. The downside- initial cost and no returns or exchanges. But if you increase your average transaction- it will pay for itself over time. Plus you have to add in the PR involved with carrying luxury eyewear.
Solid Gold Eyewear Resources-
- Cartier- We may all know the name, but this site takes too long to load and get to the products! Nothing is said about the gold content.
- Charriol by Colors in Optics- another website that takes forever to load- only shows one pair of glasses- or if it showed more products, it wasn’t working.
- David Yurman Collection by Legacie The collection is not listed on the website- all press releases talk about solid gold- but didn’t see anthing on website.
- Fred Absolutely not information on the site. Guess you have to go the the jewelry store or Premiere Vision
- Gold and Wood- Says nothing about solid gold-
- Gold Art– India- weird website- doesn’t say much about the gold content.
- Daniel Swarkowski by Silhouette
- Lotos- Very arty site, but not much information-
- Neostyle Germany- loads good, but click on their traditional gold collection, and nothing happens.
- Chrome Hearts Collection is made with sterling silver