As Google Glass sharpens focus for a prospective launch later this year, the device frequently mocked for its clunky appearance has formed a fashion-forward alliance with the biggest eyewear company in the world.
Milan-headquartered Luxottica has announced a strategic partnership with Google that “will match up high-tech developers with fashion designers and eyewear professionals,” the 50-year-old optical conglomerate said on its website.
Luxottica’s empire comprises roughly 7,000 total retail chains worldwide, including Lenscrafters and Sunglass Hut, as well as a vast array of luxury eyewear brands, including Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Oliver Peoples and Persol.
The company owns a staggering 80 percent of major eyewear brands on the market, and netted more than $10 billion in sales in 2013.
Two of Luxottica’s proprietary names, Ray-Ban and Oakley, will initially be involved in the collaboration, the company said, combining “high-end technology with avant-garde design.” No additional details -- or financial terms of the deal -- were disclosed.
Prior to this partnership, Google announced its own Titanium Collection in January to make Glass more style-friendly -- whereupon it also forged a game-changing deal with the nation’s largest optical insurance provider, VSP.
In the face of Glass opponents, Google is all guns blazing. In addition to reportedly lobbying legislators who are mulling restrictions on wearing the device while driving, the company recently published a post in order to debunk popular Glass misconceptions.
Another minor but intriguing coup for Google Glass in recent weeks? The University of Southern California will reportedly offer a course entitled Glass Journalism this fall. The class will focus on how students can harness the technology through the reporting process, according to Mashable.