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Luxottica | Success Story of the Italian Eyewear Conglomerate



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Luxottica is the world’s most prominent eyewear company. It was founded in 1961 in Agordo, Italy. Luxottica owns top brands like Ray-Ban, Costa, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, and Persol. The brand has provided its customers with top-quality eyewear for over six decades. It is a vertically integrated company. In 2018, Luxottica’s combined market value reached an estimated $70 billion. It also designs and manufactures eyewear for luxury brands like Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Prada, Burberry, Dolce and Gabbana, Michael Kors, and Coach. 


Leonardo Del Vecchio established Luxottica in 1961 as a spectacle parts-making company. During the 1980s, the brand started gaining international recognition. Presently, Luxottica controls over 80% of the powerful eyewear brands globally. A-list celebrities like Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, and Jessica Alba have endorsed the brand. Recently, Luxottica collaborated with Google to create an innovative range of wearable devices. Through the partnership, the two top brands are set to change the world of wearable technology. 


On the 22nd of May 1935, Leonardo Del Vecchio was born in Milan, Italy. His father passed away before he was born. Leonardo’s father worked as a street vegetable vendor before his death. Leonardo’s mother already had four children. His mother did not have enough money to raise five children. At age seven, due to the severe wartime conditions, Leonardo had to start living in an orphanage. As a result, he grew up under the care of nuns. After the war ended, Leonardo had to begin working to support his family. He worked as a metal engraver under a tool manufacturer at age fourteen. Throughout his teenage years, Leonardo continued to work. 

Leonardo did the metal engraving work all day long and studied in the evening. He also took industrial engineering classes. As time passed by, Leonardo started becoming fascinated by the eyewear industry. He had gained experience working with metal tools. As a result, Leonardo decided to learn about the eyeglass-making industry. However, it was not possible to study the optical drive in Milan. At age twenty-five, he decided to move to Agordo, a small town in the province of Belluno. Agordo was renowned for its eyewear industry. Upon moving, Leonardo learned several things about the optical business. The region had much to offer in trading, designing, and marketing eyeglass. 

Establishment of Luxottica

In 1961, Leonardo opened a workshop in Agordo. He had a young family and worked hard to make ends meet. Around the same time, a mine in Agordo’s valley closed. As a result, the town decided to give away the land to potential business people. Leonardo requested 3,000 square meters of land on the riverbank. He had gained substantial experience in the optical business. After acquiring the land, Leonardo built a factory to make spectacle parts. Simultaneously, he made a house near the workplace. Leonardo began his day at 3 in the morning. For over five years, he manufactured spectacle parts. In 1967, Leonardo decided to make Luxottica a complete spectacle frame-selling company. 

Initial Years

Initially, Luxottica sold accessories for optical companies. Later, it ventured into the frame-selling business. Gradually, after gaining recognition in the industry, Luxottica decided to launch its first eyewear collection. In 1971, the brand showcased its products at the international optics exhibition in Milan. Luxottica had a staff of ten people at the time, including Leonardo. At the optical event, Luxottica’s collection impressed everyone. The brand’s superlative craftsmanship and elegant design became the talk of the town. As a result, Luxottica’s popularity began proliferating. In 1974, the brand ventured into vertical integration. It acquired a distribution company called Scarrone. It was one of the most prominent wholesale distributors in Italy. There was no looking back for Luxottica after the acquirement of Scarrone. During the 1970s, the brand’s growth continued to flourish. 

Worldwide Recognition 

After gaining success in the Italian market, Luxottica began its international expansion. In 1981, the brand opened its first subsidiary in Germany. At the time, Germany was the leading manufacturer of eyeglasses. Simultaneously, the brand acquired Avant-Garde. Through the acquisition, Luxottica ventured into the US market. The development was fruitful, and Luxottica struck a groundbreaking deal. In 1988, the brand signed a licensing agreement with fashion giant Armani. Luxottica gained massive success after collaborating with Armani. During the 1990s, the brand’s popularity multiplied. It signed licensing contracts with Bvlgari, Brooks Brothers, and Chanel. Luxottica expanded its business by acquiring renowned brands like Oakley, Persol, Ray-Ban, LensCrafters, and Sunglass Hut. During the 2000s, the brand entered the Australian, Chinese, North American, and European markets. Consequently, it became the most prestigious eyewear company globally.

Also read: Hilton | Success Story of the Multinational Hospitality Group

Who founded Luxottica?

Leonardo Del Vecchio founded Luxottica in 1961 in Agordo, Italy. Initially, the brand manufactured accessories for optical companies. Later, during the 1970s, it stopped making products for other businesses and launched its spectacle collection.

What is the net worth of Luxottica?

Luxottica’s net worth is estimated to be $70 billion. The brand has provided its customers with top-quality eyewear for over six decades. Luxottica owns top brands like Ray-Ban, Costa, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, and Persol.

Who is the CEO of Luxottica?

Francesco Milleri has been the CEO of Luxottica since 2017. In 1996, he founded a strategic digital consultation company. During the 2000s, Francesco began working with Luxottica. After spending ten years with the company, Francesco became the first director.

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