HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Salmoiraghi & Viganò, Italy’s largest eyewear retailer, celebrates its 150th anniversary this year with the launch of a book, which contains archival images and documents.

Curated by journalist Gianfranco Fabi, the tome retraces the story of the company, which was born from the merging in the Seventies of the Salmoiraghi and Viganò families’ businesses operated by British group Dollond & Aitchison.

In 2002, Dino Tabacchi acquired the Milan-based company, which operates 460 stores in Italy and also manufacturers lenses.

“We expect to open 130 stores in the next three years,” said Tabacchi, a former co-owner of eyewear manufacturer Safilo Group, who plans to focus retail plans domestically.

“In Italy there are about 10,000 opticians, so we are still a small company with potential to grow. And only 50 percent of the population here uses sunglasses,” he said.