Leonardo del Vecchio, the Italian entrepreneur, chairman and founder of giant eyewear Essilorluxottica holding, and one of the richest Italian businessman, has died aged 87, today, according to Italian press.
Del Vecchio, a self-made man raised from a orphanage condition, founded Luxottica, his eyewear company in 1961 in Agordo, near the Dolomites in Belluno, Italy. The company grew and became a giant group. In 2018, it merged with the company French Essilor International, creating a new holding that is a global leader in projecting producing and distributing lenses, eyewear prescription glasses and sunglasses.
The group, whose yearly sales were over €14 billion in 2020, operates under licensing agreement for a vast amount of prestigious brands including Armani, Dolce&Gabbana and Valentino, and owns top player brands including Ray-Ban, Oakley and Persol, along with its global retail network.
Del Vecchio also holds shares in Italian financial services group Mediobanca and has a stake of just under 10% in Italy's largest insurer Generali.
The Essilorluxottica company, and previously Luxottica, has also been constantly involved in expanding in new R&D fields and directions, including, among others, the announcement in 2021 to offer a far reaching strategic partnership with Google to work together across multiple efforts on the creation of innovative iconic wearable devices.