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Eyewear giant Marcolin, the parent group of designer eyewear lines such as Roberto Cavalli, John Galliano, and the retail phenomenon Tom Ford, hosted a luncheon in the Hollywood Hills on Tuesday to celebrate the launch of their newest licensed designer line, Diesel. Preaching to an audience of fashion bloggers and stylists, company representatives captured our attention with their trend forecast: that DSquared2 and Swarovski could be the next brands to reach the Tom-Ford level of popularity and demand. Bold words, considering that Tom Ford has enjoyed a freakish rate of growth in the face of the economic downturn, and achieved a household-name status in a way unprecedented for the eyewear industry. Do DSquared2 or Swarovski have what it takes to explode across US markets? Despite the insistence of the suave Italians behind Marcolin, we were skeptical.
After the presentation ended and the lunch adjourned, we followed the stream of eyewear-enthused attendees downstairs to check out the prototypes of the various new collections -- and we have to say, we were impressed. While Swarovski was still a bit gaudy for our taste, we loved DSquared2. The frames were sleek and well-proportioned, which is something of an achievement in the post-Rachel Zoe world. But sure enough, the bulk of the crowd descended immediately upon the room bearing the Tom Ford frames. And while we'll admit we did like his new cat-eyed frames, with their neat prism effect in their shaping, we were nonplussed by the reappearance of the "Whitney" frame, and quickly found ourselves migrating back to the up-and-comers.
· Marcolin USA