Italy is hailed for its incredibly versatile fashion accessories and luxury products. From sportswear, shoes, handbags, makeup, and fragrances to clothing and ready-to-wear accessories, Italian luxuries have got it all for the fashion freaks.
Eyewear, particularly designer sunglasses, are among the most valuable products of Italian brands, so much so, that the research studies have honored Italy with the “biggest sunglasses exporter” status.
Italy’s sunglasses export value stands at $2,049 million in 2022; so many reasons for it. The increasing popularity of luxury sunglasses as a fashion statement and the high-end lens technology of Italian manufacturers serve as key drivers for such a gigantic export value. Let’s dive deep into the Italian sunglasses brands & manufacturers that account for these huge numbers:
Worldwide Revenue of the Sunglasses Business
The sunglasses segment makes up 17.24% of the collective eyewear market revenue (the rest of the segments being eyeglasses 69.80% and contact lenses 12.96%). The estimated worldwide revenue of the sunglasses business stands at $23,424 million, with the United States being the leading the way at $4,138 million revenue. China, with $1,806 million revenue, seals the second spot after the US, followed by Brazil, India, Germany, and France.
In terms of revenue generation, Italy secures the 7th spot with projected earnings of $660 million in 2022. The dominance of the US and China is mainly because of their huge consumer base that stems from their immense population. In terms of exports, however, no other country comes closer to Italy. Have a look at the detailed numbers for the top 10 countries by revenue:
Revenue of Sunglasses Business in 2022 (by Country)
|Rank||Country||Revenue (in million USD)|
Worldwide Sunglasses Exports in 2022
The estimation for China’s sunglasses export value stands at $1,160 million against Italy’s $2,049 million in 2022. The rest of the countries, in order, are Hong Kong, the US, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Here are the detailed statistics:
Export Value of Sunglasses in 2022 (by Country)
|Rank||Country||Export Value (in million USD)|
Why Italy Dominates the Sunglasses Exports?
Italy has a plethora of reasons that justify its dominance. The nation is home to some of the leading eyewear manufacturers, some high-end luxury brands, and exhibits some fashion sense which is loved, admired, and hailed across the globe. Here’s our take on the matter:
1. Leading Sunglasses Manufacturers Belong to Italy
Italian eyewear manufacturers have a prominent name in their domain. The world’s top 3 manufacturers, Luxottica, Safilo Group, and Marcolin Group find their origin in Italy:
1. Luxottica Group S.p.A.
Designing & manufacturing eyewear frames, models, and lenses since 1961, Luxottica now emerges as the largest eyewear company in the world. The firm owns the most reputed luxury brands of eyewear, Oakley & Ray-Ban. Headquartered in Milan, Luxottica’s 90,000+ stores operate in over 150 countries and generate a staggering annual revenue of roughly 9 billion EUR on average.
2. Safilo Group S.p.A.
Safilo Group is known for designing the most awe-inspiring sunglasses frames. Founded in 1934, the company now hails from Padua, Italy and produces high-end glasses accessories for 32 licensed brands. The licensed brands include Levi’s, Kate Spade, Missoni, Moschino, Under Armour, and many more. The proprietary brands are as exuberant as Carrera, Polaroid, Smith, Seventh Street, and the company’s very own Safilo Eyewear. The annual revenue of Safilo Group, on average, adds up to 1.1 billion EUR.
3. Marcolin Group S.p.A.
Marcolin Group is based in Longarone, Italy and has several subsidiaries including Marcolin USA Inc., UK ltd., Asia Ltd., Middle East FZCO, RUS LLC, Portugal Lda, France, Marcolin Gmbh, and others. The company has been designing, creating, and shipping high-end sunglasses for over 60 years. Marcolin claims to have been distinguished by excellence, supreme quality, and the peak of artistry. Some renowned brands licensed to Marcolin are Tom Ford, Sportmax, Adidas (Original & Sport), Max Mara, OMEGA, and Bally. The company generates average annual revenue of roughly 250 million EUR.
2. Many High-End, Luxury Brands Originate from Italy
Italy is the origin of several luxury eyewear brands that are highly renowned in today’s fashion-driven world. Brands that are either exclusively sunglasses-centered or have a larger domain of fashion accessories with significant prominence in the sunglasses business. Here’s a list of top Italian brands having a worldwide repute:
If there’s one name that concludes the exuberance of Italian fashion, it’s Gucci. The brand is based in Florence, Italy and has 501 stores worldwide as of 2021. With a brand value of $15.6 billion, Gucci is to Italian fashion what Louis Vuitton is to the French.
With an innovative take on sunglasses, Gucci revamped the style and introduced unique frame designs. With such uniqueness in styles adorned with the precious GG logo, these pairs remain among the most loved designer sunglasses for fashion enthusiasts.
Ray-Ban is the most distinguished name in the sunglasses industry. Originated in New York, the brand was sold to Luxottica in 1999 and is ever since stationed in Milan, Italy. Ray-Ban is well-known for its aviator & Wayfarer sunglasses and is hailed to have pioneered the concept of anti-glare protective lenses.
Another Milan-based luxury sunglasses brand that stamps Italy’s prominence is Prada. The brand is known for its flat-lens oversized pairs that offer bold and audacious looks. The thick temples engraved with the logo serve as the brand identity. Having stores and outlets worldwide, Prada secured a record revenue of $3.38 billion in 2021.
Milan’s very own, Trussardi, is celebrated for its high-end leather goods, ready-to-wear accessories, and fragrances but is equally approved as a luxury sunglasses brand. Trussardi sunglasses exhibit contemporary designs with a subtle touch of Italian fashion. The brand’s revenue amounts to 152 million EUR. All data and graphs were picked by Glasses Store TheShadesHut.