Leonardo Del Vecchio: Luxottica Eyewear Founder
Leonardo Del Vecchio (1935-2022) is an Italian businessman and entrepreneur. He is the founder and chairman of Luxottica, a leading eyewear company that designs, manufactures, and distributes eyewear for a variety of brands, including Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue Eyewear, Persol, and many more. Del Vecchio is considered one of the wealthiest people in Italy and is also known for his philanthropic efforts. His net worth is estimated to be approximately 27 billion dollars as of 2022.
He began his career as an apprentice to a tool and die maker in Milan, but decided to turn his metalworking skills to make spectacle parts. In 1961, he moved to Agordo in the province of Belluno, which is home to most of the Italian eyewear industry. The new company was Luxottica.
In 1967, he started selling complete spectacle frames under the Luxottica brand, and in 1971 he entered the contact manufacturing business.
In 1974, he acquired Scarrone, a distribution company. In 1981, the company set up its first international subsidiary in Germany. A licensing deal with the designer Giorgio Armani was settled in 1988.
The company was publicly listed in New York in 1990, and in Milan in December 2000. The listing enhanced the company's ability to acquire other brands.
Leonardo merged eyewear with fashion, turning a quotidian necessity into high style. He rose from poverty to become one of the world’s wealthiest men.
Luxottica (now called EssilorLuxottica) designs, manufactures, and distributes eyewear for a wide variety of brands. The company doesn't disclose a complete list of all the brands it produces eyewear for, as some may be licensed under confidential agreements or are exclusive to certain regions. Some of the most notable brands that Luxottica produces eyewear for include: