Diego Della Valle is chief executive of the Tod’s Group. Widely regarded as an embodiment of Italy’s Dolce Vita combined with the passionate independence of The Marches, his native region, Della Valle is the driving force behind Tod’s hugely successful expansion from a leather manufacturer into a global luxury group with annual revenues of more than $1.2 billion.
Following his graduation from the University of Bologna, studying law, Della Valle began his work at Tod’s in the marketing department. Della Valle scored a coup when he asked a friend, Luca di Montezemolo to pass on a pair of Tod’s driving moccasins to Gianni Agnelli, who later wore them while attending highly publicised football matches, which helped to increase sales dramatically.
Della Valle is understandably focused on further growth, particularly in Asia, telling the Financial Times that Tod’s wanted to “intensify” efforts in the market, but with caution. “The important existential issue for luxury brands: will they be perceived as exclusive, or popular? It will be a delicate balance. To grow, but to retain that exclusivity. The dream touch.”
Della Valle is passionate about maintaining the standards and cachet of the ‘Made in Italy’ brand. Tod’s recently expanded factory in Casette d’Ete, Della Valle’s native region, and proudly remains reliant on the traditional artisanal skills of its craftsmen. "There's a dearth of craftsmen, but luckily we’re okay here for the next decade," Della Valle told Town and Country.
Della Valle sits on the board of a number of companies, including Ferrari, Maserati, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro and LVMH. He bought the Tuscan football club, ACF Fiorentina, in 2002.