Italian eyewear manufacturers. Sàfilo makes and markets labels such as Gianfranco Ferré, Gucci, Polo Ralph Lauren, Pierre Cardin, Laura Biagiotti and Valentino. The brand was created in 1934 when the Tabacchi family bought the oldest Italian industrial plant producing lenses and frames (it was founded in 1878 in Calalzo di Cadore). Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, so much so, that in March 1987 Sàfilo shares were sold on the Stock Exchange in Milan. The company has a worldwide marketing operation and two factories outside Italy, in Austria and Slovenia.
&Quad;2000. The new distribution center in Padua went into operation to improve logistics. The trading branch Sàfilo Portugal was launched.
&Quad;2001. The Sàfilo Nordic, India, Hong Kong, and Singapore branches were opened. Productivity at the Longarone factory increased. The new contact lenses Carrera Contact were launched on the Italian market.
&Quad;2001, July. Vittorio Tabacchi made a public purchase offer and became the majority shareholder of the group.
&Quad;2001, December. The company withdrew from the Stock Exchange where it had been quoted since 1987.
&Quad;2002, January. A new line was launched under the Yves Saint Laurent label, a division of the Gucci Group.
&Quad;2002, April. The Group’s profits increased substantially. In 2001, profits were up by 23% on 2000; operating profits were up by 28%, and net profits increased by 41%.
&Quad;2002, June. Sàfilo bought the Salmoiraghi & Viganò chain of shops.
&Quad;2002, September. A new showroom was opened at 142 Champs-Elysées in Paris.
&Quad;2002, October. The Group opened a base in London. A deal was signed to market the collections of the labels Bottega Veneta and Stella McCartney, strengthening the already established relationship with the Gucci Group.
&Quad;2002, December. The American fashion house Liz Claiborne puts its initials to an agreement with the Veneto firm for the launch of a new collection. The brand successfully completed the refinancing of the debt and, in association with the transaction, Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity became a minority shareholder in the Group, with a holding of around 270 million euros.
&Quad;2003, February. The Sàfilo Group and Armani Group announced a deal for the manufacturing and marketing of a collection of Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani glasses.
&Quad;2003, April. The group battled through the crisis and in 2002 increased both sales (+6%, the equivalent of 894 million euros) and operating profits (+12%).
&Quad;2003, April. After his brother Vittorio sold off his share, Giuliano Tabacchi bought 50% of the Alberto Aspesi company belonging to Intek.
&Quad;2003, June. Vittorio Tabacchi was made a Cavaliere del Lavoro.
&Quad;2003, July. Sàfilo acquired Outlook Eyewear, the Denver (USA) based distributor of the eyewear brands Liz Claiborne and J. Lo by Jennifer Lopez. As a result of the agreement, Sàfilo added the license for the Liz Claiborne brand to its portfolio, including the lines Liz Claiborne, LizSport, Claiborne, Liz Claiborne Readers, Crazy Horse, First Issue, and Villager. Sàfilo also added J. Lo by Jennifer Lopez, and B.U.M Equipent to its range of sunglasses. All the brands acquired through Outlook were to be distributed exclusively in the USA and Canada.
&Quad;2004, January. Vittorio Tabacchi, the owner of Sàfilo with about an 80% share in the company, decided to expand the business by distributing as well as manufacturing eyewear. The first step in this direction was taken in Spain. The Emporio Optical group, which controls about 70 shops in Spain, was acquired through a corporate chain with the Luxemburg based Angiolucci International at its head. The operation cost 18 million euros, plus 5 millions to acquire about 10 sales points in the Canary Islands from the Program Vision Group.
&Quad;2004, March. Sàfilo celebrated 70 years of business by opening it’s 27th office in China. The Sàfilo Group is currently present on the world market with its own brand collections Sàfilo, Carrera, Smith, Oxydo, Blue Bay, as well as the ranges produced under license for Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Burberry, Diesel, Dior, Emporio Armani, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Max Mara, Oliver, Pierre Cardin, Polo Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney, Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent. Sàfilo also distributes Fossil, Nine West, Kate Spade, and Saks Fifth Avenue for the American market. It has two specific collections for the sports sector, Carrera and Smith, and it has negotiated sponsorisation agreements and contracts with world famous athletes and teams for various sports.
&Quad;2004, May. Sàfilo Group and Marc Jacobs International agreed on the launch of a new range of Marc Jacobs eyewear. They signed a seven-year license agreement for the production and distribution of the eyewear collection, and the agreement is then renewable for a further four years.
&Quad;2004, December. The year closed with a consolidated turnover of 940 million euros, +8.5% at a constant exchange rate, and a net profit of 19.8 million euros, up 30.8% from 2003. The group achieved growth in all the main international markets, with particularly positive results in the Far East (+30% despite the negative effect of the exchange rate), North America (+10% with exchange rate parity), and Europe (+4.5%).
&Quad;The Sàfilo Group concentrated its technical and design know-how on the development of a new and exclusive collection of sunglasses, “IMATRA R.C., INC.,” chosen by the motorcycle racing champion Valentino Rossi. Vittorio Tabacchi, President of the Group declared that “the collaboration between the Sàfilo Group, the ‘IMATRA R.C., INC.’ brand and Valentino Rossi guarantees the success of the new collection.”
&Quad;2005, April. The group finalised a partnership with Juicy Couture for a collection of sunglasses and spectacles planned for launch in March 2006, so adding to its portfolio of licenses that included Alexander McQueen, Boucheron, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Diesel, Dior, Dior Homme, Emporio Armani, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, MaxMara, Polo Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent. Sàfilo also has various brands of its own: Carrera, Smith and Sàfilo Elasta. Sàfilo distributes the collections of Liz Claiborne, Fossil, Nine West, Kate Spade, and Saks Fifth Avenue under exclusive license.
&Quad;2005, May. Rationalise so as not to delocalise. This was the manufacturing plan for 2005-2006. The group’s Vice-President Giovannino Lorenzon, in charge of the manufacturing plan, explained that “We have chosen not to delocalise. It’s a choice that we really believe in: our strength lies in tradition, and the accumulated abilities of those who have worked in the eyewear field for generations. But the competition from the Far East, which produces very low cost products, and the sales of counterfeits have forced us to rationalise our production.”
&Quad;The “OXYDO SUNGLASSES” collection, designed by Enzo Sopracolle, produced and distributed by the Sàfilo Group, and aimed at a young and trendy target market, reinforced the group’s link to music. The collection has been the subject of several television promotions featuring the model Fernanda Lessa during the Festivalbar music show.