Skateboard mogul and television star Rob Dyrdek and Pete Fox, CEO of Fox Head Inc., will launch IVI (pronounced “eye-vee”) in the spring. Jerome Mage, also a partner, is the lead designer.
IVI is a separate company from Fox, though Pete personally and Fox as a company are both investors. Pete, Rob and Jerome answer some questions about IVI, including the opportunity they see in the market, price points, and distribution targets.
Questions for Pete Fox – Why start a new brand?
Pete: First, I love the challenge of a new brand. It brings me back to my high school days helping my dad determine how Fox would be shaped.
Second, tough economic times create both challenges and opportunities. We feel that this is a great chance to start a new company in a relatively quiet environment, because there isn’t much positive news out there.
Ultimately though, it took being able to have the right pieces come together, and with Rob and Jerome as partners I think we have an incredibly powerful team. Rob was definitely at the very top of my list of people who I always wanted to work with – the guy is brilliant.
Why start a sunglass brand? Any worries the category is saturated?
Pete: There are a lot of good brands in the market now but there is a big gap between action sport eyewear and fashion eyewear and we feel IVI fits this gap well from a design and marketing standpoint.
Where do you envision the brand being sold?
Pete: Our target channels are Premium Action Sport, Lifestyle Boutique, Sunglass Specialty and Optical.
How did you come up with the name?
Pete: Rob dreamt it up! We wanted something clean and timeless. After a bunch of brainstorming sessions, he sent me an email with the name and was really passionate about it and how it would work on product and in marketing. As soon as we saw our first prototype with the logo on it, we knew we had something special.
Will Fox continue to have Fox sunglasses?
Pete: Absolutely. Fox Eyewear is a great global business for us, and continues to grow season over season. IVI is a separate company. Fox and IVI products have totally different design aesthetics, marketing directions, and are targeted toward different customers. Both brands are going to live and grow separately.
How will you market the brand?
Pete: We are currently in the process of recruiting for the Marketing Director position. That will be a dream job for someone. I mean, working on marketing with Rob Dyrdek – does it get any better than that?
We will definitely get a lot of play from Rob’s projects. Lil Wayne was skating with Rob and took one of our first sunglass prototypes, so you know we will also have key celebrity and athlete placement.
(Email info@IVIvision.com if you are interested in the marketing position.)
What are the price points?
Pete: The initial line will be $120 – $180.
Questions for Jerome Mage – Describe the design aesthetic of IVI.
Jerome Mage: IVI eyewear design has an iconic quality, combining simple and classic lines with unique features and details. IVI blends Americana toughness with simplicity. Each frame is also very unique in terms of mixed materials and particular surface treatments.
Can you share some details on where you worked before?
Jerome: Through the years, I’ve played a key role in shaping the vision of the action sports market collaborating with key brands such as Burton, Analog, Shift MX, and Spy Optic.
Questions for Rob Dyrdek – Why are you involved in this project?
Rob Dyrdek: I have been trying to develop a sunglass line for the last few years. I was really struggling trying to find the right partner. I had met with a lot of different people and when Colin McKay introduced me to Pete there was no question he was the one to make it happen with me.
How will you integrate the brand into your other business ventures?
Rob: As I do with all of my brands, I will fully integrate IVI into my world. From doing full integration into Fantasy Factory: Season 5 and showcasing the glasses on every show, to sponsoring Street League Pros and collaborations with my other brands. It’s a new category for my personal brand so there is a lot that I can do without conflict.
What’s it been like to work with Pete on the project?
Rob: It has been truly amazing. He meticulously put together the most amazing team from design to sales. When we first met, I laid out what I thought we needed to be successful: Strong business, strong brand vision and strong execution. With that in mind, Pete put the entire company together piece-by-piece.
Things really turned the corner when he hired Jerome to develop and design the sunglasses and the feel of the brand. Every meeting we had I would be blown away by the progress and strength of this development.
We have all worked together to develop an eyewear brand we are really, really proud of. If there were some sort of award for putting a company together perfectly Pete would have a fancy gold statue on his mantel!