The sunglasses industry is control by a few massive companies, charging high mark-ups. Given that a few conglomerates control the market, they can charge high prices while simultaneously not innovating. They don't need to constantly innovate and develop the ultimate products because there is not enough competition.
This is a well documented phenomenon, showcased by many media outlets. In one Los Angeles Times article, entitled:
How Badly are We Being Ripped-Off on Eyewear? Former Industry Execs Tell All
"Charles Dahan knows from firsthand experience how badly people get ripped off when buying eyeglasses. He was once one of the leading suppliers of frames to LensCrafters, before the company was purchased by optical behemoth Luxottica. He also built machines that improved the lens-manufacturing process. In other words, Dahan, 70, knows the eyewear business from start to finish. And he doesn’t like what’s happened. “There is no competition in the industry, not anymore,” he told me. “Luxottica bought everyone. They set whatever prices they please.”
According to CBS News 60 Minutes: Sticker Shock: Why are Glasses So Expensive? One Factor: The World's Largest Eyewear Company, the Italian Firm Luxottiva, Controls a Big Chunk of the Business.
Peeq is taking on the sunglasses establishment.
Brands controlled by Luxottica
Armani, Brooks Brothers, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, D&G, Michael Kors, Miu Miu, Oakley, Persol, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Ray-Ban, Tiffany, Toy Burch, Valentino, Versace, Vogue
Brands controlled by Safilo
Banana Republic, Bobbi Brown, BOSS, Carrera, Dior, Fendi, Fossil, Givenchy, Hilfiger, Jimmy Choo, Juicy, Kate Spade, Moschino, Marc Jacobs, Pierre Cardin, Polaroid, Saks, Swatch, Prive Reveaux
Brands controlled by Marchon
Calvin Klein, Chloe, Columbia, DKNY, Etro, Karl Lagerfeld, Lacoste, Longchamp, Nautica, Nike, Nine West, Paul Smith, Salvatore Ferragamo, Victoria Beckham
Brands controlled by Marcolin
Balenciaga, Cavalli, Diesel, Dsquared, Gant, Guess, Harley Davidson, Kenneth Cole, Moncler, Montblanc, Skechers, Timberland, Tod’s, Tom Ford, Zegna