10 Things You Didn’t Know About Claudio Del Vecchio

Clad in unassuming attire, Claudio Del Vecchio might just pass you on a Milan street without arousing suspicion that he’s one of Italy’s wealthiest businessmen. The Chairman and CEO of the iconic Brooks Brothers, Del Vecchio has worn many hats through his illustrious career and left an indelible mark in the fashion industry. However, there is more to this successful entrepreneur than meets the eye. Here are ten things you might not have known about Claudio Del Vecchio.

1. Del Vecchio Was Born Into a Famous Family

Claudio Del Vecchio was born in the Le Marche region of Italy in 1957. He comes from the well-known Del Vecchio family, owners of Luxottica Group, the world’s largest eyewear company. His father, Leonardo Del Vecchio, founded the company and is known to be one of the richest men in Italy.

The family’s immense wealth could have easily meant a life of luxury for Del Vecchio. However, his upbringing instilled in him the values of hard work and dedication, which led to creating his own successful business path.

2. He Bought Brooks Brothers to Save it

When Del Vecchio bought Brooks Brothers in 2001, the company was in a bit of a financial upheaval. Many will argue that his decision to purchase it was more to save this symbol of American style from financial ruin than simply a strategic investment.

Through his vision and guidance, he managed to restore the company to its former glory by re-focusing on quality rather than quantity, and capitalizing on its heritage to enrich its brand image.

3. He Ran a McDonald’s Franchise

One of the highlights of Del Vecchio’s early career was running a McDonald’s franchise in Milan. It was an unconventional move, but one that taught him valuable lessons in operations efficiency and customer service, lessons that would serve him well in his subsequent endeavours.

But despite his success with the fast-food joint, his love for fashion called him back and he left his McDonald’s venture to plunge into the world of textile business.

4. He Dislikes Ties but Loves Making Them

Despite being known as a ‘blue jeans’ kind of guy, Del Vecchio enjoys making ties – a specialty of the Brooks Brothers brand. He reportedly once remarked that he doesn’t much care for ties, but loves the art of producing them.

This ironic passion signifies Del Vecchio’s nuanced understanding of fashion as both a personal expression and a business exercise.

5. He Played a Key Role in Luxottica’s Success

Before buying Brooks Brothers, Del Vecchio had a successful tenure at Luxottica, contributing significantly to the company’s rise to the top. As the President and CEO of Luxottica USA, he played a pivotal role in designing and executing strategies that made Luxottica a market leader in eyewear.

His leadership was instrumental in shaping the company’s ethos around excellent craftsmanship, quality and customer service.

6. Education and Adoption Causes Are Close to his Heart

Del Vecchio strongly believes in giving back to the community. He is known to support multiple charitable causes, with a particular focus on education and adoption. That’s because he was adopted himself and had humble beginnings.

He has generously given to various charities and projects that provide education to underprivileged children, and support to children waiting to be adopted.

7. He’s Fascinated by American Culture

Claudio is an Italian through and through, but he has always held a deep fascination for American culture. This partially explains why he purchased Brooks Brothers, a distinctly American brand.

He believes the blend of the American entrepreneurial spirit and the Italian appreciation for craftsmanship can make any business successful.

8. He is a Foodie

True to his Italian roots, Del Vecchio is a lover of all things related to food. Be it trying out new recipes at home, visiting new restaurants or innovating food-related business concepts, he enjoys gastronomical adventures.

His stint with the McDonald’s franchise bears testament to his love for the food business.

9. He is a Family Man

Despite his busy schedule, Del Vecchio always ensures to set aside time for his family. He believes in prioritizing family commitments over business pursuits and spends quality time with his wife and children.

His strong family background and values trace back to his admiration for his adoptive father and the support he received from his family throughout his life.

10. He Loves Playing Soccer

Del Vecchio is an avid soccer fan and loves playing the sport whenever he can. His love for soccer might seem unconventional for someone of his stature, but it’s this down-to-earth quality that makes him the relatable and admired man he is.

He has even incorporated this love for the sport into his charities, often organizing soccer tournaments for fundraising projects.

In conclusion, the success story of Claudio Del Vecchio is a fascinating blend of business acumen, rich family lineage, personal passions and generous philanthropy. While he is often seen as just the face behind the Brooks Brothers brand, as we can see, there is far more depth to him than what appears on the surface.

Useful Links:

With this, we come to the end of our article. You may be keen to learn more about Claudio Del Vecchio and his inspirational journey. Please find some useful links below:

  • Know more about Claudio’s acquisition of Brooks Brothers in this New York Times article.
  • Read about the philanthropic activities of Claudio in this Luxottica post.
  • You can also follow Claudio on LinkedIn here.