He has earned a number of awards for his activity, including honorary degrees in Business Management from the Ca' Foscari University, Venice in 1995, in Management Engineering from the University of Udine in 2002 and in Materials Engineering from the Milan Politecnico in 2006, as well as a honorary master in International Economics from the MIB - School of Management of Trieste (1999). He has been 'Cavaliere del Lavoro' since 1986.
Mr. Leonardo Del Vecchio serves as Executive Chairman of the Board at Luxottica Group S.p.A. He is founder of the Company's operations and is Chairman of the Board, and has been since Luxottica Group S.p.A. was formed in 1961. Mr. Del Vecchio also serves as Chairman of the Board of some of the larger subsidiaries. In 1986 the President of the Republic of Italy conferred on Mr. Del Vecchio the honor of Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito del Lavoro (Knight of the Order for Labor Merit). Mr. Del Vecchio is currently Chairman of Beni Stabili S.p.A. In May 1995, he received an honorary degree in Business Administration from the Ca Foscari University in Venice. In 1999 he received Master honoris causa in International Business from MIB- Management School in Trieste and in 2002 he received an honorary degree in Managerial Engineering from the University of Udine.
Leonardo Del Vecchio (1935-) is the founder and chairman of Luxottica, a $3 billion (sales) designer and manufacturer of high-quality eyeglass frames.
Born into an impoverished Milanese family in 1935, Del Vecchio lost his father five months before his birth. Unable to make ends meet, his mother entrusted him to the care of nuns at age seven. Del Vecchio began working at 14 and has never stopped. He still clocks 14-hour workdays, whether at Luxottica's headquarters in Agordo, in the Italian Alps, or at one of the company's myriad offices around the world.
Leonardo Del Vecchio (born in Milano / May 22,1935) is the founder and chairman ofLuxottica, a $3 billion (sales) designer and manufacturer of high-quality eyeglass frames. The firm owns the Sunglass Hut and Lenscrafters chains with a total of over 6000 stores.
Luxottica Group S.p.A. is the world’s biggest eyewear company. Its best known brands include Ray-Ban, Sunglass Hut International, Persol and the recently acquired Oakley, Inc.. It also makes sunglasses for designer brands such as Chanel and Prada, and has extensive interests in prescription glasses as well. Leonardo Del Vecchio started the company in 1961, in Agordo north of Venice; today the company is headquartered in Milan.
Leonardo Del Vecchio began his career as the apprentice to a tool and die maker in Milan, but decided to turn his metalworking skills to making spectacle parts. So 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 s.a.s., a limited partnership. In 1967 he started selling complete eyeglass frames under the Luxottica brand, which proved successful enough that by 1971 he ended the contract manufacturing business.
Convinced of the need for vertical integration, in 1974 he acquired Scarrone, a distribution company. In 1981 the company set up its first international subsidiary, in Germany, the first in a rapid period of international expansion. The first of many licensing deals with a designer was struck with Armani, in 1988.
The company listed in New York in 1990, and in Milan in December 2000, joining the MIB-30 (now S&P/MIB) index in September 2003. The listing enhanced the company’s ability to acquire other brands, starting with Italian brand Vogue in 1990, Persol and US Shoe Corporation (LensCrafters) in 1995, Ray-Ban in 1999 and Sunglass Hut, Inc. in 2001. They went looking for more retail companies, acquiring Sydney-based OPSM in 2003, Pearle Vision in 2004, Surfeyes in 2006, and Cole National in 2004. Most recently, they acquired Oakley in a US$2.1bn deal in November 2007.
The house brands include Ray-Ban, Oakley, Revo, Arnette, Killer Loop, Persol, Vogue, Luxottica, and Sferoflex. The company also makes sunglasses sold under designer labels such as Chanel, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Bulgari, Miu Miu, Salvatore Ferragamo, Donna Karan, DKNY, Genny, Byblos, Brooks Brothers, Sergio Tacchini, Anne Klein, Versus, Ralph Lauren, Polo, Chaps, Ralph, Oliver Peoples, and Adrienne Vittadini. Their most recent deal was with Tiffany & Co.. These brands are sold in the company’s own shops, as well as to independent distributors such as department stores, duty-free shops and opticians.
As of 2008 Luxottica Retail had 6400 retail outlets to their name (North America, China, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom). The headquarters of the Retail division is in Mason, Ohio. Their brands include Sunglass Hut International, WatchStation, LensCrafters, OPSM, Laubman & Pank, Budget Eyewear, Pearle Opticians, Pearle Vision, Surfeyes, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Cole Vision Care, and ILORI. They also own EyeMed Vision Care, one of the leading managed vision care organizations in the United States.
Nato a Milano ma bellunese di adozione trascorse i suoi primi anni, orfano, nel collegio dei Martinitt . Diventa poi apprendista in una fabbrica di stampi per ricambi automobilistici e montature per occhiali, in qualita di incisore. Nel 1958 ad Agordo in provincia di Belluno si mette in proprio, aprendo una bottega in cui si occupava sempre di occhiali. Nel 1999 viene accreditato con un MBA ad Honorem in International Business dalla MIB School of Management di Trieste e nel 2006 (21 marzo) gli viene conferita la Laurea honoris causa in Ingegneria dei materiali dal Politecnico di Milano . Nel 2008 e stato condannato, in primo grado, a pagare piu di 20 milioni di euro per frode fiscale.
Con la sua societa a responsabilita limitata di diritto lussemburghese, Delfin S.a.r.l. , Del Vecchio controlla il: