Domenico De Sole

Domenico De Sole

Chairman, Tom Ford International

The skilled executive rescued Gucci from near-bankrupcty before going on to help launch Tom Ford International.

Italy Executives 2013 BoF 500 2013 2014 BoF 500 2014

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Biography

Domineco De Sole is chairman of Tom Ford International, a role he has held since the company was founded in April 2005.

De Sole and Ford met whilst at Gucci, where the pair’s shared vision for the Gucci brand would become one of fashion’s greatest success stories. De Sole, as Gucci’s president, guided the brand from near bankruptcy, and played an instrumental role in building the Gucci Group, a luxury conglomerate that would eventually include: Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Sergio Rossi, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga. De Sole’s presidency would also see him successfully defend an alleged hostile take-over bid by Bernard Arnault’s LVMH.

De Sole exited Gucci, with Ford, in April 2004.

Although De Sole had intended to retire, he soon agreed, in 2005, to enter into business with Ford once again, claiming he “wouldn’t know what else to do if he didn’t work.” De Sole and Ford founded Tom Ford International through two licensing deals, one with Estée Lauder for beauty, and a second to create eyewear with the Marcolin Group.

The brand’s steady and astute expansion, which now includes womenswear and menswear, is a testament to De Sole’s thorough awareness of the challenges of today’s market, and the opportunities within it.

 

The seasoned executive has served on the boards of Gap, Procter & Gamble, Bausch & Lomb, Telecom Italia, and on the advisory board of Harvard Law School, his alma mater. De Sole left Procter & Gamble, prior to launching the Tom Ford fragrances, in order to avoid any conflict of interest, but the indefatigable executive took up a role on the board of Ermenegildo Zegna SpA instead.

He is known for his loyalty, modesty and geniality. He remains in contact with many of the designers from his days at the Gucci Group, including Nicolas Ghesquière, Stella McCartney and Thomas Maier.

De Sole and his wife Eleanore are keen art collectors and have two daughters together.

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