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International Fashion Brand Launches Specsavers

Monday, 25 July 2011


Two internationally renowned British high street success stories have joined forces to offer style-conscious specs wearers international designer looks at accessible prices.


From 24 July 2011, Specsavers stores nationwide will stock the largest selection of Karen Millen Eyewear anywhere on the high street, as the collection becomes the latest addition to Specsavers' extensive designer portfolio.

Juan Carlos Camargo, frame buyer at Specsavers, says: 'Karen Millen is an internationally renowned fashion brand that's a natural extension to our range. We're very pleased to have them on board.

'Like Specsavers, Karen Millen is well established on the British high street. The brand is highly distinctive and synonymous with quality, individuality and effortless glamour. We're confident that the range will really appeal to our customers.'

Karen Millen Eyewear was introduced in 1998 and is designed in-house by the 15-strong Karen Millen team, which is also responsible for the design of all clothing and accessories for the brand.

Gemma Metheringham, creative director and joint managing director at Karen Millen says: 'When you try on any Karen Millen product and look in the mirror it should make you smile, because you look good and feel confident.  Karen Millen is about flattering people, which really matters when you're talking about glasses as you wear them every day.'

Karen Millen Eyewear is available from Sunday 24 July 2011 in Specsavers stores throughout the UK and Ireland. Glasses are priced at £125, including Pentax single vision lenses and scratch-resistant coating as standard.




Specsavers notes to editors                                                                              

  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world
  • The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director
  • Specsavers has more than 1,500 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group was £1.36 billion for 2009/10 and is forecast to reach £1.55 billion in 2010/11.
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners. Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.
  • Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the tenth year running by the Reader's Digest Trusted Brands survey 2011
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers * - 9,700,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2009
  • Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK *
  • Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world
  • Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offers a hearing service from more than 400 locations
  • Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. During its three-year support for Diabetes UK it raised more than £250,000 to fund various projects
  • Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas, for use in developing countries. Specsavers has raised over £370,000 for the charity since 2006, with almost £245,000 going towards its work in Zambia.



Karen Millen notes to editors

  • Karen Millen is one of the great success stories of British Fashion, having become the first truly global design-led accessible fashion label to emerge out of the UK.
  • The brand has flag-ship stores in prestigious fashion cities around the world including London, Madrid, New York, Moscow, Berlin, Sydney, L.A and Hong Kong with the most recent opening in Le Marais in Paris.
  • Karen Millen was the first retailer to successfully bring designer-led clothing to the consumer at high street prices in 1981 and will celebrate its 30th anniversary for Autumn Winter 2011
  • The brand is now available in more than 300 stores and concessions in over 40 countries worldwide with global retail sales of circa £250 million.
  • Early 2011 saw the brand establish itself as an independent company, having been part of the Aurora group since 2004.
  • International retail sales now account for over 60% of brand turn-over with new openings for 2011 planned in Morocco, Poland, Russia, Indonesia, Ukraine and Jordan.
  • Ground-breaking historic international expansion into new territories for a uniquely positioned British brand include Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Estonia with targeted future markets including China, India, Vietnam and Mexico.
  • The brand's transactional website launched during September 2007 in the UK and now ships to 22 countries with visitors from 216 countries.
  • In November 2010 the brand launched a standalone US website and will also launch standalone sites in Germany, France and Australia.
  • Each collection is created by the in-house atelier headed up by Gemma Metheringham, joint Managing Director of Karen Millen. Both Gemma and the team are dedicated to the brand and work across all the Karen Millen lines including apparel, swimwear, footwear, accessories and jewellery, creating 12 collections a season with new items delivered in-store each week.