This excerpt taken from the LUX 6-K filed May 12, 2009.
EYEWEAR: A NEW FRONTIER OF FASHION
In the meantime, Luxottica continued to invest in its products. The acquisition of La Meccanoptica Leonardo, owner of the Sferoflex brand and an important flexible hinge patent, enabled the Company to boost the image of its products quality and increase its market share.
But it wasnt until the end of the 80s that eyeglasses, until then perceived as mere sight-correcting instruments, underwent the crucial evolution into eyewear. Continual aesthetic focus on everyday objects and interest on the part of designers in the emerging accessories industry led Luxottica, in 1988, to embark on its first collaboration with the world of fashion, entering a licensing agreement with Giorgio Armani. The Company followed up that initial experience (terminated in 2003) with numerous others, gradually building a world-class brand portfolio featuring names like Bvlgari (1996), Salvatore Ferragamo (1998), Chanel (1999), Prada and Versace (2003), Donna Karan (2005), Dolce & Gabbana and Burberry (2006), Polo Ralph Lauren (2007) and Tiffany (2008).
As for house brands, the Company slowly expanded in the sun business by buying Vogue (1990) and the famous Persol (1995), a brand with a glorious tradition and a mid- to high-end positioning.