Eyewear specialist Rodenstock is set to highlight the role the sunglasses category will play in travel retail’s recovery at the upcoming Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2021.

Rodenstock returns to the event as a Silver Partner, ready to showcase its latest innovations and new ranges. The company noted that eyewear has a key recovery role “thanks to the category’s inherent link with the travel experience”.

“This is why Rodenstock has not sat back during the pandemic but has continued to create and innovate to enchant shoppers,” the company added in a statement to The Moodie Davitt Report.

Collaboration, Rodenstock said, has been at the centre of its efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It has worked closely with retail partners – in particular, China Duty Free Group (CDFG) – over the past 18 months, releasing new collections across CDFG’s renowned ecommerce platforms and through in-store launches.

The company has continued this trend with a major promotion with CDFG at Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex in Haitang Bay, Sanya. The activation runs until the end of September and features the brand’s Readers collection, as well as Porsche Design Vision Drive lenses and Collector’s Edition.

New ranges featured in travel retail include the August collection which, Rodenstock said, underscores Porsche Design’s focus on innovation through the use of materials which combine style and function.

As reported, Rodenstock named Lucas Gestin as Director Global Retail and International Key Accounts Eyewear earlier this year. His appointment followed Petra Eckhardt-Köstler’s decision to leave the company to re-join her consulting firm P5 Marketing Agency.

Gestin is spearheading efforts to expand the international and online accounts for both the Rodenstock and Porsche Design Eyewear brands.

“The last 18 months have been tough for everyone in the travel retail market,” he said. “But, as we see the industry beginning to pick itself up once more, events such as the Virtual Travel Retail Expo offer a wonderful opportunity to engage new and existing partners and plot a course for a successful future.

“Collaboration and partnership have been hallmarks of our efforts throughout the pandemic and we firmly believe they hold the key to the success which lies ahead. We are looking forward to engaging with colleagues and new partners and showcasing how we can work together as this vibrant market rebuilds.”

Porsche Design’s Autumn/Winter 2021 collection will be highlighted at the Expo.

The Air Spring series reflects Founder Prof. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche’s claim that “design is not simply art; it is elegance of the function”. Titanium and beta titanium frames feature a flexible zone to offer maximum wearing comfort.

Porsche Design, according to the brand, follows a clear design philosophy: to optimise function, reduce the form right down to the essentials, and “overcome the familiar to continually discover new and exceptional solutions”.

The same principles, which inspired its founder, Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, to design the legendary Porsche 911 high-performance sports car in the 1960s, have driven Porsche Design since 1972.

The series focuses on precision fit and lightness in two frames for prescription lenses (P‘8397, P‘8398) and two for sunglasses (P‘8939, P‘8931). Depending on the Vision Drive coating, the sunglasses have a RRP of €360 to €420 while prescription frames have a RRP of €430.

The collection’s Flexible Purism line offers minimalist designs. Stainless steel wire frames give a technical look while high-performance RXP plastics sidepieces guarantee flexibility, lightness and wearing comfort.

The sunglasses (P‘8921 and P‘8922) are available in several colour variants and have RRPs of €295 or €290.

The Ultra Light series underlines Professor Porsche’s passion for purist design. New frames for prescription lenses are made of titanium and, weighing just 5g and with only eight or nine parts, are the lightest and most minimalist in the collection. Four colour combinations are available, with a RRP of €450.

Ball Tec draws inspiration from the ball, with the core element of its frames a titanium screwless hinge joint to offer flexibility and durability. Front and sidepieces feature RXP plastic and titanium.

Frames for prescription lenses (P‘8385) are available along with (P‘8913) panto-style sunglasses with a contrasting-colour bridge, in four colour variants. With Vision Drive lens coating, the sunglasses have a RRP of €350 or €400, while the frames for the prescription lenses have a RRP of €420.

As reported, Rodenstock named American Patrick Dempsey actor as the face of its Porsche Design brand earlier this year.

Dempsey is well-known for his role as Dr Derek Shepherd in the hit medical television drama series, Grey’s Anatomy, which earned him two Golden Globe awards.

“Hollywood icon Patrick Dempsey inspires us with his charismatic and authentic personality. He is a connoisseur of innovative and high-quality products and demands the most from his eyewear,” said Porsche Design Group CEO Jan Becker.