Leonardo Del Vecchio, second richest man in Italy and 71st global fortune in 2011, according to Forbes. He is the founder and president of Luxottica, the world leader in the development, production, marketing and distribution of glasses. He holds 68.5% of the group.
Fatherless, Leonardo Del Vecchio is constrained at 14 years old to find a job in order to help the family. For some years he worked at a tool manufacturer; and at 19 years old he began study industrial design; at evening classes while continue to work in a day-time.
Fascinated by glasses’ frames, in 1961 he moved to Agordo a small village in the region of Venice. In this valley, are concentrates all the important players specialized in the manufacture of glasses, from design to marketing.
In 1967, Del Vecchio decided to enter in glasses assemblage’s market. Big bet because the competition is very strong. In 1976, Luxottica decided to stop the furniture for others brand, and developed its own brand of eyewear.
For the following years, Del Vecchio has used the research to become leader in the sector. He also developed a real strategy for distribution, and the acquisition of Italian Scarronne, in 1974, allows him to set up an efficient sales network.
In 1981, he developed the international strategy and he opened a first international subsidiary, in Germany.
In 1988, Luxottica focused on luxury brands. First partnership with Giorgio Armani opens the way to other agreements in the luxury industry. Del Vecchio bought historical brands as Persol and Ray-Ban.
In May 2008, Luxottica bought for $2.5 billion the U.S brand Oakley, specialized in the sport segment.
“I am proof that you can you make money in Italy and be honest.”
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