MILAN — Tod’s Group on Tuesday presented and delivered the project of the manufacturing plant that chairman and chief executive officer Diego Della Valle has pledged to build in Italy’s Arquata del Tronto, hard hit by the deadly earthquake in August. The event was held at Tod’s headquarters in Brancadoro, in the Marche region, and the project was handed to the mayor of Arquata, city officials and young citizens of the town.
A group of Tod’s employees formally delivered the master plan in the presence also of some representatives of other towns damaged by the earthquake.
“I hope this project can be shared by the many Italian successful entrepreneurs and that it will pave the way for a future where our country can express its richness and potential at its best,” Della Valle said.
The Della Valle family has chosen to build a new company plant in Arquata that is expected to be up and running within next year on the land acquired in November covering around 54,000 square feet. The new facility will allow to hire young people in the area.
The plant is expected to produce footwear for the Tod’s brand.
The region is a historical footwear manufacturing hub and Tod’s itself is based in Casette d’Ete, about 63 miles away from Arquata.
Della Valle has always been a firm supporter of Made in Italy production and the group’s craftsmanship is a source of pride for him.
The investment in the new factory was not disclosed.
Della Valle has been vocal about “the world of solidarity,” as he told WWD in July, discussing his “Noi Italiani [We Italians]” project, which was seen by the media as a political party, signaling his stepping into politics. Della Valle dismissed the notion, saying, “’Noi Italiani’ is focused on supporting the country on what is perhaps the most important thing we have — the artistic and cultural patrimony, which means a lot of new jobs, especially for young people.” He said he thought all companies should initiate the “solidarity operation in their territories to support people who need it the most.”
Della Valle’s most public effort to support the country so far has been the restoration of the Colosseum. In 2010, Della Valle revealed he was pledging 25 million euros, or $28 million at current exchange rates, for the works.