Founded by Gimmo Etro in 1968
Gimmo Etro, driven by his passion for travel and history, founded the Etro company in 1968 with a vision of crafting a lifestyle brand synonymous with quality and sophistication.
Initially, Etro focused on fashion fabrics, creating exceptional materials from fine original fibres. Their haute couture fabrics, featuring silk, cashmere, and cotton, were renowned for innovative patterns and vibrant colours. In 1981, they introduced the iconic paisley motif, which became the symbol of the Etro brand.
In 1983, Etro expanded into retail, opening their first boutique in Milan, offering collections of ties, scarves, and shawls. Two years later, they ventured into home accessories.
The company’s global footprint grew with their entry into the Japanese market in 1988, leading to the establishment of over sixty boutiques in the Far East.
In 1989, Etro entered the fragrance industry, followed by their first catwalk fashion show five years later. In 1998, they launched an eyewear and sunglass collection.
Kean Etro has overseen the menswear line since 1990, while Veronica Etro has directed womenswear. Gimmo’s other children, Jacopo and Ippolito, also play key roles in the business, handling the textile division and finances, respectively.
The Etro style is characterised by captivating prints on exquisite fabrics, emphasising vibrant colours and luxurious designs.
Etro made its Milan Fashion Week debut in 1996 and ventured into direct-mail sales through The New York Times in 1999. In 2013, they embraced online retail in addition to their physical stores. A monograph titled “Etro,” chronicling the company’s history, was published by Rizzoli in 2014.
By 2018, Etro’s annual revenue reached $372 million, with 140 flagship stores in 58 countries, including major cities like Milan, London, Paris, New York, Beijing, and Tokyo. In 2021, they established a subsidiary in Seoul, taking control of their South Korean business.
In the same year, L Catterton acquired a 60% stake in Etro, valuing the company at around 500 million euros. In 2022, Marco De Vincenzo was appointed as the new creative director, marking the first time an outsider headed the design team.
Etro remains a family-managed business, with Kean, Veronica, Jacopo, and Ippolito Etro playing pivotal roles. The menswear collection is known for its imaginative catwalk shows, while the womenswear line, launched in 1991, is celebrated for its craftsmanship and artistic flair.
Etro has diversified into home textiles, ceramics, gifts, wallpaper, furniture, fragrances, toiletries, leather goods, travel accessories, eyewear, footwear, and jewellery. In 2023, they inked a licensing agreement with Simonetta to launch Etro Kids, a children’s wear line.
In 2018, the company faced a lawsuit alleging discrimination filed by a former employee, Kim Weiner, citing issues related to race, gender, and age within the organisation.