"I lived on the shoulders of a giant" - Corriere.it

"I lived on the shoulders of a giant" - Corriere.it

"I lived on the shoulders of a giant."

Thus begins the greeting message that Rocco Basilico has entrusted to his Instagram profile. Recipient? Leonardo Del Vecchiothe entrepreneur who died in Milan on June 27, 2022 and who would have turned 88 today.

“Remembering a great man who lives in my heart. Your teachings guide my path. Happy birthday, Leonardo», writes Basilico again, who is the first son of Nicoletta Zampillo, widow of the founder of Luxottica, and of the banker and financier Paolo Basilico.

Three photographs accompany the sweet greeting message: all in black and white, which capture different moments in the life of the young heir of Del Vecchio and the patron of Luxottica. The first portrays him still small, on the entrepreneur's shoulders while they smile playfully at the camera. In the second Basilico is portrayed together with Del Vecchio several years later. In the third, the most recent in chronological order, a key moment in the history of EssilorLuxottica in recent years: the collaboration with Facebook (and Mark Zucherberg, portrayed in the shot together with Del Vecchio and Basilico) for the production of the Ray-Ban Stories, the smart glasses.

The anecdote of the Ray-Ban Stories

We owe the launch on the market of the smart glasses produced by the Facebook-Luxottica duo to Basilico's initiative. As he told the Courierit all started with an email: «I wrote to Mark (Zuckerberg, ed), introducing myself. She replied very quickly, after a couple of days. In Italy I would have said it was a bit slow, but considering he is the founder of Facebook… ». But the real turning point was the meeting between the teams of the two companies, Basilico said. «We spent several days together, as if it were a workshop, and we decided about 90% of what the product would later be. We were very firm on some things: we didn't want to compromise the style and design of an iconic model like the Wayfarer and at the same time make something you can wear for several hours. We approached the project in a very serious way and managed to connect the two founders».

Having joined the company in 2013, Basilico has had various experiences since then, until he became managing director of Oliver Peoples, a brand born in 1987 in California and acquired by Luxottica in 2007. Among his most recent projects, in addition to the partnership with Facebook for the creation of smart glasses, a collaboration with Brunello Cucinelli for Oliver Peoples. Since 2020 he has been chief wearable officer of Luxottica.

Rocco Basilico is one of Leonardo Del Vecchio's eight heirs: together with Claudio, Marisa and Paola Del Vecchio (the children of his first wife Luciana Nervo), Leonardo Maria (the only son of Nicoletta and Del Vecchio), and Luca and Clemente (had by his partner Sabina Grossi) and Nicoletta, the second and fourth wife, as well as Basilico's mother). After Del Vecchio's death he entered the capital of the Luxembourg safe Delfin with 12.5% ​​of the share capital of Essilux, received by surprise based on the will of the group's founder.

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