Oakley Launching Ultrapremium Sunglasses Line
Posted on November 8, 2009
USA Today reports that Oakley is launching a luxury sunglasses line. The Oakley Elite C Six Shades made with 80 layers of carbon fiber will sell for $4,000 each. Critics say this is the wrong time for Oakley to launch an expensive sunglass line but Oakley doesn't agree.
The move comes at a time when the $200 billion luxury-products industry, once thought recession-proof, is spiraling downward. Luxury-product sales globally are expected to fall a hefty 8% in 2009, projects a Bain & Co. study.Oakley says 90 hours of machine time goes into making each pair of its Elite C Six sunglasses. USA Today says Oakley will limit the line to just 200 pairs over the next year.
Pooh-poohing all that is Oakley CEO Colin Baden. "Why not go after the Holy Grail of elite sunglasses? It's less a business objective and more Oakley flexing its R&D muscle and thumbing its nose at the other expensive eyewear makers."
The ultrapremium Oakley Elite C Six will sell at almost seven times the price of the $600 Pit Boss, which had been Oakley's costliest line. Sporting goods gurus and sports marketing experts are hard-pressed to name a pricier line of sunglasses, or to explain why Oakley is launching it now.