Translated by

Nicola Mira


Sep 13, 2023

Italia Independent has a new owner. The Italian eyewear brand founded by Lapo Elkann has been bought by Modo Group, a sector specialist with a 30-year presence in the industry, owner also of the Modo and Eco brands.

Giovanni Lo Faro, Modo’s international CEO (left), and Alessandro Lanaro, Modo’s founder and group CEO -Group

“Since its inception, I have always admired Italia Independent for its incredible success. We are proud to be taking charge of its future, and to have the opportunity to contribute significantly to the brand’s growth,” said Alessandro Lanaro, founder and CEO of Modo Group. “Modo Group and Italia Independent have always shared a desire to think outside the industry’s box. Our objective is to reconnect with the huge community that Italia Independent has fostered over the years, among both eyewear retailers and consumers,” added Lanaro.
Modo Group is a rather atypical eyewear company, characterised from its early days by a strong cosmopolitan spirit. It was founded in 1990 in New York by Lanaro, an Italian businessman, and began trading in the USA. In 2005, when current international CEO Giovanni Lo Faro joined the company, Modo Eyewear began to expand outside the USA, opening an office in Milan in 2008, and a design and marketing studio in Stockholm.

Italia Independent will now be able to rely on Modo Group’s solid organisational structure, and on its successful global retail presence. The group’s brands are in fact commercialised in 80 countries via 20,000 retailers (of which 1,500 in Italy, one of the group’s main European markets). The primary market remains the USA, where approximately 50% of Modo Group’s revenue is generated.
Until 2021, Modo Group always recorded double-digit growth, 30% per annum on average. In 2022, following the invasion of Ukraine and widespread inflation, the group grew in single digits.

“I am delighted that Modo Group has bought the Italia Independent brand. I am convinced that Alessandro and his team, with their successful track record, will be able to transform the brand I have founded, and with which I will always have a connection,” said Elkann.

Italia Independent’s first new collections under Modo Group will be launched in Spring/Summer 2024. The products will be made in Italy and distributed via selected retailers worldwide.

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