Leondardo Del Vecchio, the founder of eyewear emporium Luxottica, died in Milan at the age of 87.
Del Vecchio sat at the helm of the largest distribution group in the eyewear world, and had a personal wealth of 25.8 billion dollars, making him the second wealthiest person in Italy.
Awarded with Italy’s Knight of the Order of Merit for Labor, he started his company at age 26, first as a subcontractor and then as a manufacturer of finished eyewear.
As sole owner, Del Vecchio joined forces with French eyewear giant Essilor in 2017, in what was reported to be a 50 billion euro merger.
Last year EssilorLuxottica's posted a 40 percent increase in turnover compared to 2020, with revenue amounting to 17.8 billion euros.
Among the brands in the Luxottica portfolio, are Persol, Ray-Ban and Oliver Peoples in addition to well as numerous luxury licenses including Giorgio Armani, Versace, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana.
Italy's Premier Mario Draghi said in a statement: “For more than 60 years a protagonist of Italian entrepreneurship, Del Vecchio created one of the biggest companies of the country, starting out from humble origins. He brought the community of Agordo and the entire country to the center of the world of innovation.”