Claudio Marenzi, president of fashion industry association Sistema Moda Italia and president and chief executive officer of Herno, has been appointed a Cavaliere del Lavoro, one of the highest honors bestowed by the president of the Italian Republic, currently Sergio Mattarella.
Others in the fashion industry who were bestowed with the title include: Roberto Colombo, president of Lanificio Luigi Colombo, a leading producer of cashmere and high quality fibers; Ermenegildo Dino Tabacchi, president of eyewear retailer Salmoiraghi & Viganò; Daniela Villa, a founder of natural cosmetics retailer L’Erbolario; Carlo Molteni, president of design firm Molteni, and Paolo Nocentini, president and ceo of Savino del Bene, specialized in fashion shipments to the U.S.
Established in 1901 by King Vittorio Emanuele III, the Cavalieri del Lavoro, or Knights of Labor, recognizes Italian entrepreneurs, living at home or overseas, who have distinguished themselves in different sectors of the economy and contribute to social development, employment, technology and the growth of “Made in Italy.”
Italy’s president can appoint up to 25 new Cavalieri del Lavoro annually.
Marenzi said he was honored by the appointment, which “emphasizes the engagement and efforts made” to be an entrepreneur “in a responsible way as to create economic and social development. It is the duty of each entrepreneur to contribute to the growth of our country and this can happen better if we learn to be part of a system.”
Marenzi, 54, joined the family company in 1983; it was founded by his father Giuseppe in 1948. He has been president of Herno since 2011. The company, based in the Northern Italian town of Lesa, has been expanding globally, leveraging technological innovation, design, marketing and communication.
In 2015, the company posted revenues of 71 million euros, or $78.8 million, a 13.5 percent gain compared with the previous year, and exports accounted for 70 percent of sales.
SMI represents more than 405,000 employees and more than 47,200 companies. Marenzi has been a firm promoter of Made in Italy quality, sustainability of the pipeline, re-shoring and strengthening the organization of trade shows.
Previous Cavalieri del Lavoro include Rosita Missoni, Brooks Brothers chairman and ceo Claudio Del Vecchio and Fabrizio Freda, ceo of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.