Luciano Benetton and the Founding of a Clothing Empire

On this day, May 13 in the year 1935, one of the co-founders of the Benetton Group was born in Italy. He is Luciano Benetton who, together with her sister and two other brothers, established the apparel group in 1965. According to, Luciano is worth $2.6 billion as of May 13, 2020. His siblings are also billionaires courtesy of the group’s investment in other businesses such as restaurant, infrastructure, newspaper publishing, and real estate.

Luciano Benetton
Luciano Benetton (Credit:

When Luciano was 14, his father passed away. He went to work in a clothing store to help the family. One day, he wore a brightly colored sweater knitted by his sister. It caught the attention of his colleagues. An idea hit him. He sold his bicycle and bought a knitting machine. Thus the Benetton Group was born. In 1965, he formalized the organization with his three siblings, Carlo (+), Gilberto (+) and Giuliana.

The company flourished through franchising and shock advertising. Focusing on design, dyeing and cutting, the firm contracted out the other manufacturing processes. Productivity and innovation became the hallmark of Luciano’s management style. Although his advertisements were controversial, they nevertheless imprinted on people’s mind the brand name.

Luciano retired from the company in 2012 and his son Alessandro took over as chairman. In 2017, the company incurred heavy losses which prompted Luciano to returned as executive chairman. Today, the group has 5,000 stores with more than 7,700 employees all over the world.


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