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K-Way to Debut First Eyewear Collection With Marcolin in 2025

The BasicNet-owned French brand has inked a six-year licensing agreement with the eyewear manufacturer. 

K-Way's signature packable windbreakers. COURTESY OF K-WAY

MILAN — K-Way is venturing into eyewear, unveiling an agreement with Marcolin for the design, production and global distribution of sunglasses, prescription frames, ski masks and children’s glasses. 

The six-year licensing deal comes into effect in 2025 and runs until the end of 2030. The first collection is to bow for spring 2025 and will be presented at next year’s eyewear trade show Mido, slated to run Feb. 8 to 10. 

The move, Marcolin said, strengthens the eyewear manufacturer’s footprint in the lifestyle fashion segment. 

To be sure, K-Way — founded by Leon Claude Duhamel in 1965 in Paris and synonymous with its signature packable windbreaker — has managed to balance both sportswear and fashion.

For example, it will supply the official uniforms for French challenger Orient Express Racing Team for the 37th edition of the America’s Cup and, at the same time, has unveiled high-profile collaborations with designer brands including Saint Laurent, Fendi, Comme des Garçons Play, No. 21 and Dsquared2, among others. 

In 2004, Italian fashion group BasicNet acquired the brand, beefing up its sportswear and lifestyle leaning portfolio, which also includes the Kappa, Robe di Kappa, Jesus Jeans, Superga, Sabelt, Briko and Sebago brands.

The K-Way Le Vrai anorak. COURTESY OF K-WAY

The license with Marcolin marks K-Way’s foray into eyewear, although the brand has toyed with the category in the past via collaborations with Retrosuperfuture, for example. 

Marcolin produces eyewear collections for brands ranging from Bally, Zegna and Max Mara to Pucci, Guess, Timberland and Adidas Original, to name a few. Proprietary brands include Web Eyewear and the Ic! Berlin brand, a deal inked in November that saw Marcolin integrating Ic! Berlin’s around 140 employees.

In April last year, Marcolin inked a perpetual license with Tom Ford as part of The Estée Lauder Cos.’ takeover of the Tom Ford business for about $2.3 billion. 

In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, Marcolin revenues increased 2 percent to 558.3 million euros compared with 547.4 million euros. At constant exchange rates they rose 3.8 percent.

Including nonrecurring costs, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization climbed 27.9 percent to 78.1 million euros, with a margin of 14 percent on sales, compared with 61 million euros in 2022.

The group also returned to profit, recording net earnings of 10.2 million euros, compared with a net loss of 5.8 million euros in 2022.


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