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.
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.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.
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.