The Italian eyewear market: growing trends in 2022

Italian eyewear market

The eyewear sector, like all those in the fashion system, was strongly impacted by the effects of the coronavirus health emergency but the growing numbers in 2021 confirm positive expectations for the future.

Anfao‘s data for the first 9 months of 2021 indicate a significant growth in the export of Made in Italy eyewear and show encouraging signs in relation to the domestic market. The recovery is mainly driven by prescription frames for exports and ophthalmic lenses in the domestic market.

Eyewear sector: Italian exports on the rise

During the Anfao assembly held in mid-December, the following data on the export of made in Italy eyewear were presented: the sector showed a growth of 42.7% compared to the same period in 2020 and 0.4% compared to 2019. In particular, the increase was 48.5% for frames, 40.8% for sunglasses and 20.3% for lenses.

In relation to 2019, on the other hand, there was an increase of 6.6% for frames, while the data relating to sunglasses still shows a slight decrease of -1.9%.

All the major target areas of Italian eyewear are growing both in comparison with 2020 and in comparison, with 2019, with the exception of Asia.

Analyzing every single continent it is clear that:

  • exports to America increased by + 57.9%, with + 5.6% on 2019;
  • on the European market there was an increase of 39.9% compared to 2020 and 4.9% on 2019;
  • positive sign also in Africa with an increase of + 75.3% and an unchanged situation compared to 2019;
  • note in green also for Oceania where there is an increase of 40.1% over 2020 and 13.3% over 2019.

Eyewear market: an increasing trend for the domestic market

Also on the domestic market, the results of the first nine months of 2021 are encouraging, with a clear recovery compared to 2020 thanks to the sales of the optical channel which grew in value by 23.2% in the first half of 2021.

The trend, Anfao underlines, follows that of the Italian optics market in recent years, with a progression driven by ophthalmic lenses and, in part, by frames. Sunglasses recover well compared to 2020, but appear to still suffer if compared to the values ​​of 2019.

We look forward to 2022 and the future of the sector with confidence

Anfao estimates a +37% overall for exports in 2021 compared to 2020, confirming an increase in value over 2019 of +1.5%. On the domestic market, on the other hand, an overall increase of 30% is expected compared to 2020, while the return to pre-covid values ​​is not taken for granted.