How is the actual situation of the Sunglasses market?
Covid-19 has changed the way many consumers think & more than ever, they are focused on what brings them happiness in their leisure time. This has brought about a significant increase in sport/outdoor activities & appreciation of what’s around them & we have seen a further increase in sales, particularly since Covid-19 restrictions have been eased/lifted.
What are the key trends with boardsport sunglasses retailers need for 2021?
The overlap between fashion, urban and outdoor is thinner than ever. The trend is about making no compromise between great looking styles featuring sport codes and details. No compromises on the quality and especially on lenses. Consumers are more and more sensitive to the optical clarity and lens speeches. As boardsport consumers are spending their whole day outside, UV protection, polarization and of course photochromic technology are key assets for them.Finally, an upcoming trend is also for retailers to go for brands with a CSR approach and sustainable products.
Where do you expect your biggest growth in 2022?
We have big expectation for our sport collection, especially with our 2 new models : C-Shifter thanks to its cool cylindrical shape and Icarus mainly thanks to its ultra light weight. Cycling keeps booming so we should see a big increase in that area. Our lifestyle collection, supported by Volt+, our new high contrast lens technology should also heavily contribute to the category growth.
What are your main price points for this season?
We are not introducing any new price points this season, we are staying at 120€-230€ for our sports frames depending on lens options, and 80-190€ for our lifestyle frames. Our customers usually pick a mid range lens, such as polarized lenses for lifestyle, and our high end Phantom lenses for sport
What is your collection theme and which stories are you telling to get customers stoked in 2022?
2022 will be a busy year for Bollé with 11 new models, 2 in our sport performance range, 3 in our mountain range and 6 in our sport lifestyle range.On sport performance, we are launching the C-Shifter, a cylindrical half rim shield with a bold design and all the ultra-technical features from the Shifter family. Also, in the range for 2022, the Icarus, our new ultralight frameless model with 23 grams of pure performance. Both will be available with Phantom, the most advanced photochromic lens on the market and Volt+, our revolutionary high contrast polarized lens. Our campaign will be called “Athlete tested”, the message is that our relationship with elite athletes goes far beyond sponsorships and paid endorsements, that Bollé athletes actually help design, test and improve everything we do so it outperforms all expectations in competition.
On sport lifestyle, we have a new campaign called “Shaped by the Elements”. The idea is simple, Bollé built its legacy through its outdoor expertise and this environment shapes our mindset, our vision and our products. Our technical knowledge is our response to the challenges of nature. Just like our consumers, we feel shaped by the elements. It was only natural for us to bring our personality to the urban environment and let the outdoors vision rule the city as well. To illustrate this approach we are launching 4 metal frames : an aviator, a pantos, a rectangular, and a navigator shape revisited with Bollé design language. We are also excited to present two 8-base models, Chimera and Fenix, with a retro futuristic design for the city as well as for the countryside. Finally, we introduce 3 mountain specific models, Adventurer, Pathfinder and Ascender that have been developed to endure the most ultimate condition with a cool trendy design. They will be available with Phantom and Solace4 our new mineral lens category 4.
What frame shapes are most popular for 2022?
Squares and rectangles are the bread and butter, and some more cat eye shapes for women. For sports, half rim shields are still the main game, with the cylindrical shape gaining more and more traction.
What are the main materials used in your sunglasses right now and why?
The big change is the use of the Rilsan G850, 45% bio-based with castor oil for our mountain range.We use high grade TR90 nylon for low weight and flexibility, and hydrophilic Thermogrip rubber for performance fit and stability.
Please explain what kind of lens technologies you are working with. Are we going to see any innovations?
To make our new lens, Volt+, Bollé used artificial intelligence to push the boundaries and to develop the best high contrast lens on the market. We wanted to increase contrast across the spectrum (rather than only increasing contrast of cold or warm colours like other high contrast lenses), keep the white point (rather than having a strong colour like the competition) and avoid any known patents.
More than 20 million possibilities have been evaluated by the algorithm, to find the formula that offers an incomparable experience. On top of this we added a high performance polarizer that reaches 99% efficiency at 45°. All of this makes the Volt+ lens really remarkable.
Which tints and lens colours are trending?
Moving back towards milder mirror colours, less of the bright reds and greens. With the Volt+ we have a huge improvement on colour enhancement with a neutral base tint, which is an advantage for comfort and versatility.
Which frame colours and graphics are on trend right now?
In 2022, we will launch 2 new trendy colours : the acid yellow (neon) and the creator green. We see this neon yellow work very well for next season on our sport performance range, easy to match and cool looking. As far as creator green, it is more fashion forward, unexpected as we are showing our ambition to stay ahead of the trend.
If you do prescription glasses: What are the main trends here?
We do offer all our frames and all our lenses in prescription. This is part of this business is really growing. Being able to offer the same sunglasses in plano or in prescription is a must have since not all can wear contacts.
How are you supporting retailers to sell this caregory?
We want to make sure that retailers have everything they need to talk about the brand and about our products. We share with them all our marketing assets such as videos, key visuals, imagery, showcards, product and technology descriptions and more. We organize in store trainings with extensive training tools that we developed especially for them, giving specific details on our lenses for example. We also worked on Instagram filters and QR codes to have digital “try on” and “try out” options for our 2 main technologies : Phantom and Volt+. Finally, retailers also have all sort of displays available to highlight our sport and sport lifestyle collections.