MILAN — Count Umberto Marzotto, heir of the Marzotto textile family, died Friday at age 92, in Lugano, Switzerland. The cause of death was a degenerative illness.
Funeral services will be held on Jan. 3 in the Duomo of Valdagno, the Italian town in the Veneto region where the Marzotto company is headquartered.
The son of Gaetano Marzotto Jr., the entrepreneur and philanthropist who built the family-owned company into an international and giant textile and fashion powerhouse in the 1900s, Umberto Marzotto is survived by his second wife, Gemma Gerolimetto, and his four children Matteo, Paola, Vittorio Emanuele and Diamante. Their sister Annalisa, who had cystic fibrosis, died in 1989.
This is the latest death in the Marzotto family, following that of Umberto’s brother Pietro, a former chairman and chief executive officer of the group, last April, and of his first wife Marta, in 2016. His brother Giannino, a former Marzotto chairman, died in 2012.
Umberto Marzotto was a longtime former president of the publicly listed Zignago SpA, a glass maker based in Portrogruaro, in the Veneto region, and part of Zignago Holding, consisting of a diversified portfolio ranging from the production of wine to real estate assets. He was also a member of the Marzotto board. He had distanced himself from his brothers Pietro and Paolo in the Aughts over control of several Marzotto investments, including Valentino Fashion Group, joining forces with another Marzotto family branch — the Donà Delle Rose — and with longtime Marzotto executive Antonio Favrin.
“He was an example of a balanced man, he was understated and was not interested in the limelight,” Matteo Marzotto told WWD on Saturday. “He was solid, and an excellent manager and entrepreneur. He was a good mediator and the family listened to him. He spoke with courtesy and mild manners, navigating through difficult and complex times. Investors in all the Marzotto and Zignago companies always saw returns on their investments,” he observed.
The young entrepreneur, a former Valentino chairman and investor in Vionnet and current president of Dondup, praised the ability of his father to keep the family together “when it was important to join forces and show a united front,” although he admitted the generational shift was not as smooth. “I don’t really understand what happened, but it was not really mapped out as carefully by the family.”