A Piece of the Pie: Diesel Founder Renzo Rosso Plans to Build an Italian Luxury Conglomerate to Compete With Kering and LVMH - The Scene

The luxury fashion industry’s booming.

When he was 23 years old, Italy native Renzo Rosso founded Diesel, a retail clothing company specializing in high-end denim. Rosso, now 66, helms holding firm Only The Brave, which owns the luxury houses Maison Margiela, Marni, Jil Sander, Amiri, and Viktor & Rolf, along with Diesel. 

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Despite Only The Brave’s recognizable names under their portfolio, Rosso aims to grow the company further. “Italy doesn’t have a domestic luxury conglomerate like the French ones,” he told the Financial Times. “My plan is to create one.”

Coming together

The most significant French luxury conglomerates include LVMH, which houses 75 subsidiaries like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Bulgari, and Tiffany & Co. Meanwhile, Kering owns 15 brands, such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and Boucheron. 

“Of course, our [market capitalization] will be different from the big French groups, but my ambition is to show that Italian brands can come together and strengthen each other,” Rosso continued.

 “It’s not easy, but we are on the lookout for brands that can strengthen our luxury positioning. We will demonstrate to the world that even Italy can have its own luxury conglomerate.”

Undeniable growth

This month, LVMH reported 36.7 billion euros ($37.15 billion) in revenue for the first half of 2022—a 28 percent growth compared to 2021. For quarter one of this year, Kering saw a 27 percent growth. Gucci alone gained 2.59 billion euros ($2.8 billion), while Saint Laurent garnered 739 million euros ($799.15 million).

Evidently, the luxury fashion market is growing stronger by the month. However, the French conglomerates own Italy’s top houses (Gucci, Bulgari, Bottega Veneta). If Rosso plans a homegrown fashion empire, we’re keen to see the brands or budding designers he’ll tap. 

Banner photo from @renzorosso on Instagram.

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