Published on March 21 2014
Renzo Rosso is the 58 year old Italian President of fashion label Only The Brave a company wholly owned by him and his family. With a net worth of $3.3 billion, he is currently 11th among Italy’s wealthiest people.
Inspired by the American dream, Rosso dropped out of Universita di Padua to work for clothes manufacturer Adriano Goldschmied. Having gained some useful experience on how to work with denim, Rosso partnered with Goldschmied to set up his jeans company, Diesel. He later bought off Goldschmied and now ran the company alone which allowed him to explore his creative side unhindered.
Consequently, Renzo has grown Diesel into a holding company, Only The Brave, that owns several up-market fashion houses including Viktor & Rolf, Maison Martin Margiela and Marni. The holding company now boasts of over 6,000 employees and more than 400 stores in 80 countries and has diversified from just doing jeans to making virtually everything from fragrances to women’s bags and socks.
Rosso isn’t one to shy away from splashing his money: during Diesel’s 30th anniversary he threw lavish parties in 17 cities around the world. Moreover, he has brought his party mood to the office; his company’s headquarters near Venice boasts of a kindergarten, a gym and a bar! And if you dare come to work in conventional office wear you will stand out like a sore thumb. All the same, Renzo remains somewhat down to earth and has been quoted as saying that he doesn’t approve of celebrities going around with bodyguards, it’s snobbish.
Notwithstanding, Renzo has a passion for improving the lives of the less fortunate. He founded the Only The Brave Foundation that began as a means to meet the needs of under-privileged children in Northeast Italy. However, the foundation now also caters for African children having set up the Only The Brave Millennium Village in Dioro, Mali. This project assists the very impoverished villagers to improve their lives through the provision of better education facilities, mosquito nets, seeds and fertilizers and better healthcare.
Renzo has been married twice with both marriages ending in divorce. He has six children from both marriages. His two elder sons Andrea and Stefano work for Only The Brave in various capacities. His third child, Alessia, is in the film industry while the last three (twins Asia and Luna and last born India) are of school going age. Rosso lives in Bassano del Grappa, Italy.