Inspecs has brought in new staff in Finance, Marketing and Product Development at their HQ in Bath, UK to develop new licensed brands and manage growth after showing a significant upturn in sales during 2017.
The company recently announced the signing of Just HYPE, the British-designed youth fashion phenomenon targeted at the tween, teen and young adult market. The HYPE brand has experienced exponential growth since it started in 2011 (26th fastest-growing UK company 2016). HYPE has already partnered on brand collaborations including Star Wars, The Simpsons and Coca-Cola and is worn by many influencers and celebrities including Jay-Z, Tom Hardy, 50cent, Cara Delevigne, and Idris Elba. HYPE product launches see huge consumer interest and press momentum - their recent collaboration with Pokemon Go forced the closure of Carnaby Street in London due to crowd control. The HYPE eyewear collection will be available to preview Autumn 2018.
Further new brand launches are planned for INSPECS Group later in 2018, to be announced shortly.
“In our 30th year, we’re proud of our ability to deliver great eyewear in volume to the biggest retailers in the world while retaining the innovative and creative roots of our founding company.” - CEO Robin Totterman
February 2018 marks the 1st anniversary of INSPECS’ acquisition of manufacturing pioneer Killine Group. The newly-formed Group now shares the companies’ respective capabilities making it well placed to bring both branded and OEM products to a broader customer base. Uniquely this makes INSPECS Group the first British-based company to become truly vertically-integrated, from design to manufacture.
The Lisbon design office is being extended and remodelled to serve a growing OEM business with new innovation concepts across all materials manufactured out of factory bases in both China and Vietnam.
The company has merged its operational offices in China and Hong Kong creating a stronger and larger team of industry specialists, bringing more efficiency and broad expertise to both branded and OEM production.
In terms of manufacturing the Torkai facility in China has been well-placed to win new business during the recent plating factory closures in China, being one of very few eyewear facilities to have a Chinese government seal of approval on its plating facility, as well as an in-house QA facility approved by the major optical retailers. The factory expects a strong year as eyewear trends turn towards metal frame design with a particular leaning towards the premium materials and precision engineering that the Torkai factory is world-renowned for.
The story of growth continues, with a strategic stake in a further manufacturing operation in China extending the Group’s in-house capabilities in metal production.
The Group’s NEO handmade and injection acetate production line in Vietnam continues to expand its capacity. Retailers and brands are looking for acetate production with minimal disruption due to Chinese New Year holiday closures and seeking out the fiscal benefits associated with lower duties when shipping items produced in Vietnam. Based on increased demand the Group is enlarging its Vietnam facility to benefit even more customers and projects.
In the UK, the Bath HQ has just completed its world-class showroom, created by the talented in-house design team, allowing an exclusive insight into each brand and the latest season’s collections.
INSPECS Group’s luxury British-made division has recently added a Bath acetate production factory to the existing London Algha Works (where the world-famous Savile Row frames have been crafted from 18kt gold since 1898, dressing famous faces from John Lennon to Harry Potter). The new acetate and combination acetate/gold frames add a fresh injection of colour to the collection.
The INSPECS Group have also launched the No 1 men’s heritage brand in ASOS and Urban Outfitters, Farah. The brand’s first eyewear line brings stylish silhouettes in the Farah palette of colours to a broad age range from 18 to 45+.
The company is celebrating multi-year extensions to its global O’Neill and CAT eyewear licenses. O’Neill, the original California surf brand since 1952, is meeting the need for an affordable sports brand in male, female and junior/small fit lines.
For SS18 CAT introduces ultra-light, ultra-strong titanium eyewear product to its mix of precision-engineered frames for men, with a particular leaning towards XL fit. CAT, known for engineering quality for over 90 years, always leads in innovation creating products that are truly ‘built for it’. The new titanium frames are designed to withstand the rigorous daily requirements of XL fit wear. Superdry plc recently released its 2017 financials showing very strong growth both in revenues (+20% YOY) and store footprint globally. This mirrors a strong year for INSPECS across the eyewear sector with the Superdry RX sunglasses category at affordable price points showing a particularly strong upward trend.
RADLEY London, INSPECS’s dedicated ladies’ eyewear brand, has also announced wider global reach having just launched its core handbag line in 47 Macy’s stores in the USA and 28 Dufry travel retail stores across Europe, USA and Canada.
Learn more about Inspecs by watching this video