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  • Anne-Marie Rocco

Thanks to Thélios, LVMH is focusing on eyewear, the entry point into the world of luxury

The French luxury giant added another string to its bow by creating Thélios in 2017, and thus strengthened the offer of its houses in a booming market.

Dior spring-summer 2023 collection. Glasses have become an essential fashion accessory during fashion shows, like here in Paris.

It is the newcomer to the town of Longarone, in the heart of the Italian district of the eyewear industry which has flourished for more than a century at the foot of the Dolomites. But it already takes up a lot of space. Thélios, a subsidiary of the French luxury giant LVMH (shareholder of Challenges ) created in 2017, opened its first factory there the following year. And, in 2022, it doubles its production capacity. With 1,200 employees, including 850 in manufacturing, its annual production is 4.5 million pairs of glasses. By the end of the year, it should still recruit some 200 employees. A spectacular success in an exploding market.

"We are having an amazing year." Alessandro Zanardo, managing director of Thélios since last February, is on cloud nine. "We are recording between 15 and 20% growth in 2022", indicates this good connoisseur of luxury and the eyewear industry who worked at Ferrari and Roland Berger before joining, in 2010, the Italian giant Luxottica which was to absorb the French Essilor in 2017. His mission at Thélios: to steer the move up a gear of the young entity, initially created in partnership with eyewear manufacturer Marcolin and then taken over 100% by the luxury giant in December 2021.

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