RIP to an eyewear legend

Eyewear tycoon Leonardo Del Vecchio passed away at the age of 87.

In the world of sunglasses, there is one company that rules them all: Luxottica.

While you may not be familiar with that name, you’re likely familiar with its subsidiaries like Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Sunglass Hut.

Luxottica has humble beginnings

It was founded by Leonardo Del Vecchio as a workshop that made parts for other eyewear makers in 1961.

The company eventually started producing its own glasses, and expanded its empire through a series of sharp business moves, per Forbes:

  • In 1988, Luxottica signed a licensing agreement with designer Giorgio Armani, which he says helped turn glasses into fashion accessories.
  • From 1990 to 2001, the company acquired Vogue Eyewear, Persol, Ray-Ban, and Sunglass Hut.
  • In 2018, Luxottica merged with Essilor, a french manufacturer of optic lenses, to create an eyewear behemoth.

As you might expect, these moves were lucrative for the company and its founder.

Del Vecchio was born in 1935…

… to an impoverished family in Milan and raised in an orphanage. He passed away yesterday at age 87 as the proprietor of a ~$25B fortune.

When asked the secret to his success, Del Vecchio replied, “I’ve always strived to be the best at everything I do — that’s it.”

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