NEW YORK, NY – French sunglass brand Vuarnet has announced the appointment of Chad Smith as Rx sales development director. Smith will be responsible for bringing the company’s latest mineral glass prescription technology to the U.S. premium optical market and expanding the growth of its prescription business in North and Latin America.
Founded in 1957 out of a collaboration between Olympic ski champion Jean Vuarnet and optician Roger Pouilloux, Vuarnet is known for its mineral glass lenses, which are handmade in its own factory located near Paris. Vuarnet sunglasses feature lenses manufactured in free-form mineral glass, in both single vision and progressive, and offered in polarized or non-polarized versions. The French manufacturer has recently returned to the U.S. market with its own subsidiary based in Valhalla, NY.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Chad to our USA team” says Lucio Lozza, CEO of Vuarnet. “Chad has a long track record of success in the optical industry with premium sunglass products and shares our intense passion for our iconic brand as well as our commitment to serve the independent optician with the highest quality sun protection. 2015 was our first year back in the USA, and bringing back the Glacier, the iconic 002 style and new premium handmade acetates has been an amazing experience.”
Smith, who has spent more than 28 years working with major brands in eyewear, was most recently the executive trainer at Maui Jim.
“I had the opportunity to join Maui Jim when it was a small player in the optical industry and spent the last 15 years helping expand their reach and grow their sunglass business,” he says. “I am excited to take on a new challenge and become a part of Vuarnet, a world leader in superior, cutting-edge mineral glass lens technology.”