There will be no more eyewear licensing for Kering. The parent to Gucci, YSL, and Balenciaga, among others, is creating a in-house eyewear division to tighten control over the business and gradually take back all of its existing licenses. As reported by Reuters, "The group said it wants to be involved in every step of the business from design and marketing to sales, but would continue to outsource manufacturing."
Kering announced this week that its eyewear business generates 350 million euros ($459 million) in annual sales, making it one of the top five players in the industry.
The move to bring manufacturing and marketing in-house "is part of a wider trend of luxury groups buying back licenses to better control the image of their brands, diversify business and boost sales and profit," per Reuters. "One of the most high-profile examples has been Burberry's decision to take its perfume business in-house, with the aim of building a global beauty brand, complete with cosmetics and make-up lines."
The announcement comes after Gucci recently put an end to its license agreement with eyewear maker Safilo.