Benetton, Luciano

Benetton, Luciano
▪ 1996

      A duck drenched with crude oil, a man's naked derriere stamped "HIV Positive," the blood-soaked uniform of a soldier killed in Bosnia and Herzegovina: these were not the sort of images one generally associated with fashionable clothing—unless one happened to be Luciano Benetton, the driving force behind the Benetton Group, the billion-dollar family-run apparel empire that conquered the fashion world in the 1980s with its bright-coloured knitwear. Self-described "tastemaker" Benetton and creative director Oliviero Toscani conducted a "shock" advertising campaign that focused not on the company's products but on controversial social issues. Benetton argued that the ads reflected the company's social consciousness and advocacy of tolerance and diversity; others branded them immoral. By mid-1995 the Benetton Group had lost lawsuits in France (a court ruled that the "HIV Positive"-stamped flesh "evoked Nazi barbarity") and in Germany.

      Born in Treviso, Italy, on May 13, 1935, Benetton left school at age 14 to work in a clothing store after the death of his father, a businessman. In 1965 he, his brothers, Carlo and Gilberto, and his sister, Giuliana, formed the company—now based in Ponzano Veneto, Italy—that would eventually have more than 7,000 retail outlets in some 120 countries. Reputedly, the sale of Luciano's bicycle had raised the money needed to buy the company's first knitting machine. More important, the implementation of a wool-softening process that he had encountered in Scotland helped establish a pattern of productivity and innovation that would become the company's trademark. Under a "system of services," Benetton contracted out most manufacturing to smaller textile producers and specialized in design, dying, and cutting. It also established an unusual franchise arrangement whereby independent retailers stocked only Benetton clothing. Franchises proliferated wildly and, helped by favourable exchange rates, the firm prospered during the 1980s and early '90s even as its primary market, Western Europe, suffered a recession. During this period the Benetton family began to diversify its holdings, but by 1994 the core apparel business was struggling owing to the continuing recession. A group of store owners in Germany refused to pay for stock, claiming that the controversial advertising had caused sales to drop by 30-50%. Blaming poor local management for the losses, the Benetton Group sued the rebellious stores for nonpayment and in February 1995 won a case in a German court. In July, however, a German appellate court ruled that the advertising violated the standards of fair competition because it exploited human suffering by using compassion for commercial purposes. Wary of shock advertising, Benetton's siblings appeared to be wresting control of the company from the man who had once posed naked for a poster to raise money for the homeless.

      (JEFF WALLENFELDT)

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Benetton (Kleidung) — Benetton Group S.p.A. Unternehmensform Società per Azioni ISIN …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Luciano Benetton — (* 13. Mai 1935 in Ponzano) ist ein italienischer Modeunternehmer und Mitbegründer der Benetton Group, deren Präsident er nach wie vor ist. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Beruf 2 Benetton Familie 3 Weblinks …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Benetton Group — S.p.A. Rechtsform Società per Azioni ISIN IT0003106777 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Benetton — Logo de Benetton1 Création 1965 (Trévise, Italie) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Benetton (Formule 1) — Benetton Formula  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Benetton.  Logo de l écurie Benetton Formula 1 était une écurie de Formule 1 fondée par Luciano Benetton à la suite du rachat de l écurie anglaise Tol …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Benetton (formule 1) — Benetton Formula  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Benetton.  Logo de l écurie Benetton Formula 1 était une écurie de Formule 1 fondée par Luciano Benetton à la suite du rachat de l écurie anglaise Tol …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Benetton F1 — Benetton Formula  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Benetton.  Logo de l écurie Benetton Formula 1 était une écurie de Formule 1 fondée par Luciano Benetton à la suite du rachat de l écurie anglaise Tol …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Benetton — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para la escudería automovilística de Fórmula 1, véase Benetton Formula. Para el equipo de baloncesto, véase Benetton Treviso. Benetton Group Tipo Sociedad Anónima Fundación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Luciano (Vorname) — Luciano ist ein italienischer, spanischer und portugiesischer männlicher Vorname.[1][2] Die französische Form des Vornamens ist Lucien; zu Herkunft und Bedeutung des Namens siehe dort. Bekannte Namensträger Luciano Benetton (* 1935), Vorsitzender …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Benetton —   [englisch benɪtən ], italienische Modefirma. Das Unternehmen wurde 1966 von Luciano Benetton (* 1935) und seiner Schwester Giuliana bei Treviso gegründet. Benetton präsentierte sich zunächst als eine auf farbige Sweatshirts spezialisierte… …   Universal-Lexikon

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