MILAN — Giuliano Coppini, founder of yarn-maker Lineapiù Italia, died Tuesday morning after a long illness. He was 72.
Coppini is credited with innovating the Italian yarn industry, promoting research and development and creating a strong connection with fashion.
“With [former business partner [Leandro] Gualtieri, he was certainly the man who most innovated the sector,” said Mario Boselli, honorary president of the Italian Chamber of Fashion. “He brought fashion to yarns; he was a champ.”
Coppini was a “visionary,” introducing new, creative yarns in the fashion and luxury world and an innovative way to communicate, said Boselli, noting that the entrepreneur had set up a branch in China in 2002 to better serve clients there.
Coppini introduced the use of viscose in yarns in the mid-Eighties, and also created strong relations with fashion houses. Lineapiù over the years has worked with designers and brands including Azzedine Alaïa, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gianni Versace and Giorgio Armani. For his efforts, Coppini was named Cavaliere del Lavoro by the Italian government in 1996.
“When I joined Pitti 26 years ago, Giuliano was a true point of reference for me, intelligent, competent and passionate about his work like few others,” said Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of Pitti Immagine. Napoleone said Coppini significantly contributed to the establishment of yarn trade show Pitti Filati. “The Italian yarn industry owes him a lot in terms of his ability to innovate, experiment and promote young creative talents in knitwear. It is for all of us a great loss.”
“Giuliano Coppini was a person of rare creativity. This is a serious loss for Italian fashion,” said Toni Scervino, ceo of the Ermanno Scervino Group, one of the companies Lineapiù supplied.
Coppini, former president of Lineapiù, remained honorary chairman of the firm following a change in ownership. In 2010, Alessandro Bastagli took a 56 percent stake of Lineapiù, after two years of government-backed bankruptcy protection, investing in the relaunch of the company, which had been hit by the financial crisis and competition from firms employing cheaper labor. Lineapiù, based in Capalle, outside of Florence and near Prato, is marking its 40th anniversary this year.