Flip through any Italian daily and you’re bound to bump into reports on Diego Della Valle on a regular basis.
This story first appeared in the June 17, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The chairman of Tod’s SpA is one of the country’s most high-profile entrepreneurs. His personal investments run from fashion to media, sports to manufacturing to transportation, including Saks Inc.; a high-speed train venture with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo; motorcycle firm Piaggio; iconic coffee-machine maker Bialetti; RCS MediaGroup, which owns the newspaper Corriere della Sera; furniture producer Poltrona Frau; film studio Cinecittà, and the city of Florence’s soccer team, Fiorentina.
In 2004, Della Valle and his brother Andrea, vice chairman of Tod’s, took a 40.6 percent stake in Marcolin through their holdings DDV Partecipazioni Srl and ADV Partecipazioni Srl, and joined the board.
“They are doing a great job. Marcolin has an excellent management structure,” said Diego Della Valle. “Their glasses are top quality and they can do anything at the highest level.”
Della Valle further committed to the company by inking licensing agreements in 2008 for the production and distribution of his Tod’s and Hogan eyewear collections.
“Marcolin has a solid organization and enormous specialization,” continued Della Valle, whose own group shares similarities with Marcolin. “Here is a family that is behind the firm it owns, they are solid shareholders who strongly invest in it, but at the same time, it’s a public company.”
Della Valle’s family, of course, founded and owns the publicly listed Tod’s Group. The entrepreneur defined his investment in Marcolin as “important” and having “great growth potential.”
Marcolin chief executive officer Massimo Saracchi said Della Valle’s stake in the company has “boosted Marcolin’s visibility. He is a central figure of note and stature in Italy.”
Saracchi added that Della Valle, a “solid and successful” entrepreneur who also sits on the board of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, conveys confidence and contributes “important contacts.” And, the ceo concluded, he “knows about luxury.”