LONGARONE, Italy – There is another state-of-the-art manufacturing company in Italy. Less than a year after the creation of Thélios, a joint venture between LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Marcolin, the Manifattura Thélios was unveiled today here, in the heart of the eyewear district. Thélios is already producing eyewear collections for Céline, Loewe and Fred.
Chief executive officer Giovanni Zoppas said that current production of 1.5 million pieces could potentially reach 4.5 million pieces.
“Italy is the second country for our group and with France we share a patrimony of art and culture, and six Italian brands that are expressions of this culture are part of our group: Acqua di Parma; Cova; Bulgari; Fendi; Loro Piana, Pucci, and partly Berluti,” said Toni Belloni, group managing director of LVMH. “It’s an incredible patrimony and beyond the brands and the products, it’s that inimitable Italian hand. Product is the fundamental pillar of our group. We have 23 production sites in Italy, up from five only five years ago, and we have invested 600 million euros in the past five years to strengthen production in Italy.”
For the conception of the new building, Thélios chose architects Designgroup Architetti Associati, which developed the factory around Cor-ten steel panels and large glass windows to offer an innovative work-space over 86,400 square feet. The building is also considered environmentally responsible, featuring over 2,300 solar panels installed on the roof; LED lights on its entire lighting system, and the reprocessing of all of its industrial waste.
Marcolin produces and distributes for Tom Ford, Ermenegildo Zegna, Tod’s and Diesel, among others. LVMH controls 51 percent of the joint venture, with the rest held by Marcolin. The French group has taken a 10 percent stake in Marcolin. News of the joint venture came in February 2017, amid a series of major changes in the sector that included, a month before, Luxottica Group and Essilor revealing a merger that will create a $16 billion giant. Kering was the first to initiate the string of changes when it decided to set up a new dedicated entity in 2014 and bring eyewear production in-house.