Retail Buyers Guide:  Sunglasses S/S 2024 Retail Buyer‘s Guide
Brand:  Smith Optics
Interviewee: Allie Flake, Eyewear Category Manager

What are the key trends in sunglasses for board sports for Spring/Summer 2024?
We are still seeing the shield trend remain strong in performance and lifestyle throughout 2024, and seeing brands put their own spin on this style. For SMITH, we’re launching the new Motive sunglass in this category. Wraparound frames continue to be in demand (for 2024, the new style is the Hookset) while minimalistic frames are also having a moment (for 2024, the new Mono Lake). Leashes, retainers, and other accessories are no longer just for function but also offer additional added pop of color and expression of style.  Brands who have been around for decades appear to be leaning into their history harder as of late to differentiate themselves from the new brands coming in and dividing market share. Celebrating how far they’ve come and showing that they still have so much to say. Another key treand, as seen in SMITH’s Archive Collection, is reimagining older styles with new details, added features, and updated tech.

How have your sales been in 2023 so far?
Sales have been in line with the market conditions, and we’re happy to share the SMITH brand is very healthy with the 2023 eyewear releases beng extremely well received by buyers and end consumers alike.

How are you segmenting your sunglasses?
We segment our range by use case across several categories: Sport Performance (bike, run, endurance), Water Performance (angling, rafting, watersports), Active (hiking, outdoor), Lifestyle (around town), and Archive (re-issued best sellers from the 80s & 90s). We are introducing new styles across the entire range of our price points at Smith ($149 USD to $299 USD). From simple and sleek entry price point options with Carbonic lenses to premium performance pieces with ChromaPop and ChromaPop Glass lenses and added features like interchangeable lenses, integrated retainer leashes, flexible TPU side shields on glacier glasses, etc at the top end of our range.



What frame shapes and colours do you offer in your SS24 collection?
New Frame Shapes are across the Motive (futuristic 5-base semi frameless shield), Hookset (traditional wrap frame with minimal bottom rim to reduce moisture build up), Mono Lake (retro style from the 90s with slightly oversized lenses and super skinny temples), and Langley 2 (slight wrap Aviator) styles. Cool blues, greens, yellows/gold, purple & pink, bone. The main color stories are called Wild Child and Pacific / Sedona for 2024 for a cross-category color share with bike/performance. Pacific Crystal is another main color story for eyewear in 2024 that will be used across all series: Performance, Active, and Lifestyle.

What materials are you using in your SS24 collection?
Our main frame material used throughout the sun line is our Evolve eco-friendly material made from non-GMO castor-oil-based resin to help reduce fossil fuel consumption. Many of our frames also feature Megol rubber temple and nosepads to add comfort and retention to help your sunnies stay put.

What lens technologies do you offer in your SS24 collection?
SMITH’s ChromaPop technology continues to lead our lens story. ChromaPop technology uses dyes to selectively filter light in the confusion areas on the visible light spectrum. Reducing the right amount of light from the environment in the confusion areas causes color separation which allows for sharper color perception and better optics which enhances your overall experience. Within our ChromaPop lens range, we also offer Photochromic lenses that automatically adjust to variable light conditions, with the latest addition of ChromaPop Glass Photochromic lenses in Yellow with Blue Mirror and Brown with Green Mirror.

SMITH_Guides Choice

SMITH_Guides Choice

Which lens colours and tints will you be offering in SS24?
ChromaPop Glacier Photochromic Lenses. ChromaPop Glass Polarized Lenses: Blue Mirror, Brown Mirror, Gray, Green Mirror, Bronze Mirror, Low Light Yellow, Black. Techlite Glass Lenses: Polarchromic Ignitor, Polarchromic Copper Mirror, Polarchromic Copper NEW**ChromaPop Glass Polarchromic Lenses: Yellow w/ Blue Mirror, Brown w/ Green Mirror. ChromaPop Polarized Lenses: Gray Green, Brown, Platinum Mirror, Bronze Mirror, Blue Mirror, Black, Rose Gold Mirror, Violet Mirror, Opal Mirror, Green Mirror, Black Gold, Red Mirror. ChromaPop Lenses: Platinum Mirror, Green Mirror, Red Mirror, Black, Opal Mirror, Rose Gold Mirror, Violet Mirror, Bronze Mirror, Black Gold, Blue Mirror, Low Light Amber, Low Light Copper, Contrast Rose. Carbonic Polarized Lenses: Gray Green, Brown, Platinum, Brown Gradient, Polarized Blue Mirror, Gold Mirror, Gray

Will you offer prescription glasses in SS24?
Within North America and recently launched in Australia, SMITH has a direct-to-consumer RX option for prescription sunglass and everyday wear frames. Consumers can easily upload their prescriptions directly into the site, pick their frames and lens options, and completed RX eyewear is delivered within 10-14 days of ordering.

Any new sustainable practices in your production and shipping processes?
We continue to manufacture majority of our sunglasss range from Evolve bio-based frame material and have since launching our CORE Collection of eyewear made from post-consumer water bottles in early Spring 2022, Smith has continued its commitment to environmental improvements with the discontinuation of plastic waste across new packaging eyewear (and wintersports) products since Fall 2022 in North America, and onto the APAC region in 2023. All new retail boxes are now produced from post-consumer recycled cardboard that are designed to easily fold flat for compact storage for reuse and/or disposal.

What are your marketing stories?
In 2022, we launched the Eyewear campaign, Your Life is What You Focus On, and is centered on SMITH athletes who are taking their passions to an impressive level, with clear sight on the road ahead. Each individual “In Focus” vignette tells the story of SMITH athletes and how Smith Eyewear helps them stay focused on what’s next. 2023 & 24 will see SMITH continue to work with athletes and collaborate with them on some exciting new product developments. Stay tuned for more developments.

How are you supporting retailers to sell this category?
Staff training and retail support is incredibly important to SMITH. We rely on shop employees to effectively communicate our design features and technology benefits to customers and utilize several programs – including ENDVR – to provide training tools and incentives for promoting SMITH within their locations. In addition, we’ve added significant resources to our trade marketing division to support retail displays, graphics, and point of purchase opportunities to continue driving the SMITH message in store.

What is your situation regarding stock and deliveries?
Inventory is healthy across our sunglass range and we keep a close eye on our best sellers so we can ensure timely replenishment to our customers. With multiple distribution facilities around the globe, we continue to push for prompt delivery to retailers and customers alike.



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