The Eastman Kodak Company has signed a perpetual licensing agreement with EssilorLuxottica that grants the massive eyewear company exclusive rights to use Kodak’s brand for any products or services in connection with its business.
EssilorLuxottica, colloquially known as just Luxottica, is a Milan-based eyewear conglomerate and the world’s largest eyewear company. It designs, manufactures, and distribute most major eyewear brands. It outright owns brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley, but has exclusive licenses to make eyewear for a host of other brands including Prada, Oakley, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Tiffany, more.
It even owns multiple retail stores like Sungalss Hut as well as standalone brand stores by the likes of Ray-Ban and Oakley. Additionally, it owns eyecare facilities like Target Optical, LensCrafters, and Pearle Vision. Luxottica also owns EyeMed Vision Care, an vision insurance organization, making it possible to argue the company is fully vertically integrated from payment method, to storefront, to product manufacturing and distribution.
Luxottica rarely publicly advertises its company as it tends to make consumers feel as though each of the brands and storefronts it owns are independent entities, which provides an illusion of choice. As a result, few consumers actually realize they’re buying from Luxottica unless they choose to investigate the situation themselves.
Now Luxottica is now considerably expanding its relationship with adding Kodak, a company that regularly licenses out its name for use on a variety of consumer products.
Kodak already had a multi-year licensing agreement with Kodak, but this new agreement will allow Luxottica to use the company name and branding permanently. Under the terms of the new agreement, EssilorLuxottica will continue to develop, manufacture and distribute optical products and services featuring the Kodak brand indefinitely.
“Kodak is an iconic brand rich in innovation and trusted by tens of millions of consumers around the world. We are pleased to make this substantial and permanent addition to our brand portfolio and are looking forward to leveraging our innovation capabilities and distribution network to create new opportunities for the brand and our customers. Long term agreements like this one pave the way for our company’s growth for many years to come,” Paul du Saillant, deputy CEO of EssilorLuxottica, says.
Currently, consumers can find Kodak-branded lenses and a host of Kodak eyewear frames on the market. Of note, these appear to be wholly devoid of any real tie to Kodak as a company outside of the name lightly inscribed on the sides of the frames (the colors and styles on offer are not distinctly “Kodak” in any way).
The newly expanded licensing agreement will start on January 1, 2024. The value of the arrangement was not disclosed.
Image credits: Kodak / EssilorLuxottica