If you were a certain age in the late 1980s, you knew how cool Revos were.
Created with technology first developed by NASA — as solar protection for satellites — the stylish sunglasses quickly became hot. The polarized lenses were innovative. And they looked really sharp.
But after a decade or so, the sun set on Revo. The independent company was gobbled up — first by Ray-Ban, then Luxottica.
The glasses became one small brand in a large portfolio. Revos were still around. But, Cliff Robinson says, “they needed some TLC.”
He should know. B. Robinson – his family’s 93-year-old business — designs, manufactures, sells and distributes high-quality designer brand eyewear.
Cliff Robinson had grown up in New York City. He lived in Soho, and jokes, “I never thought I’d live above 14th Street.”
But while visiting friends in Scarsdale — with their 3rd child on the way — he and his wife said, on a whim, “Let’s look at houses!” That day, they put a bid on one.
The town was not a great fit though. They knew of Westport, and liked it. But it seemed too far for his daily New York commute.
A bit over 3 years ago, Robinson and his wife visited a friend from his Brown University days, now living in Westport. They decided to move here — and that he’d telecommute.
Robinson crossed paths here with Bill Sweedler. A few years ago his firm — Sequential Brands — bought Revo from Luxottica. Last year, B. Robinson bought out Sequential.
So now, Cliff Robinson says, “this great American heritage brand is being brought back.” And he’s the one leading the re-brand.
The other day, the website was relaunched.
The timing is auspicious. This is the 50th anniversary of the first men walking on the moon. Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad — the 3rd man there — was Revo’s first ad representative. The current ad campaign reprises the brand’s late-’80s marketing.
Ahead, Robinson says, is “more TLC”: marketing, PR, perhaps pop-up stores in New York, the Hamptons — and Westport.
“Plenty of people here remember Revo,” Robinson say. “It was part of their lives. We’re making it relevant again.”