By skilfully combining craftwork traditions with innovation, Tod’s has become a key player in the production and distribution of luxury footwear, leather goods, clothing and accessories, a global ambassador for Italy’s deeply rooted manufacturing traditions, a symbol of the Italian lifestyle and of unparalleled quality.
Filippo Della Valle launched a modest shoemaking business out of a basement, from the Marche region in central-eastern Italy, during the Twenties. However, by the Sixties, he solely produced private label shoes “Made in Italy” for American department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. The luxury footwear brand began its ascent towards the pinnacle of success when the founder’s grandson, Diego Della Valle, cut short his law course in Bologna and took the reins as Chairman of the company in the Seventies and gave it the name ‘Tod’s’. For long, it was rumoured that the name, Tod’s, was found in a Boston directory but Diego denied it, claiming he researched an Anglo-American name, which would be easy to pronounce!!
How did the brand carve a niche in the luxury goods space? At Tod’s, only quality pieces of leather are selected, cut by hand, treated and thoroughly inspected before being assembled by artisans. In fact, some of the brand’s best-selling shoes take years to handcraft because certain shades and textures are delicate to treat. During his travels to New York, Diego Della Valle found inspiration in the popular casual styles and the seed of handcrafting beautiful, well-made shoes that could be worn in a professional, elegant, or casual environment, took birth as The Gommino Shoe. Once it became one of the ‘it’ shoes among the A-list set, Tod’s turned its attention to handcrafting luxury handbags. In 1997, the “D-bag” was the first edition of Tod’s handbags. Interestingly, this bag was dubbed after Lady Diana.
That said, Diego brought in innovative marketing strategies in the early Eighties while maintaining the handmade manufacturing process and went on to create lifestyle brands Tod’s, Hogan and Fay. Roger Vivier, maker of luxury shoes, was acquired in the Nineties, and shortly Italian designer Bruno Frisoni came on board as Roger Vivier’s Creative Director. Pretty soon, Tod’s had a number of stores world-wide, including flagships in Europe, the U.S., China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Australia. In 2008, Tod’s licensed its name and branding to Marcolin Group for optical frames and sunglasses and in 2018 extended its licensing agreement through 2023. In late 2015, Tod’s acquired further stock in Roger Vivier for an estimated €415 million. It previously owned a 57.5 per cent stake, now up to 60.7 per cent. In April 2021, the luxury brand got Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni to join the board and within a month, the market value of Tod’s was estimated at €1.6 billion. In early 2021, LVMH raised its investment in the group from 3.2 per cent to 10 per cent for reported $89,9 million.
However, the luxury brand is now attempting to revive itself by buying out investors and making it private. Per Business Of Fashion, “Sales at Italian fashion group Tod’s in 2021 rose by almost 40 percent, the first increase after five years of consecutive declines, beating market expectations… Tod’s founder and chairman Diego Della Valle and his brother Andrea are offering to buy out other investors in Tod’s at €40 a share, for an up to €338 million investment.”
Effortless elegance for the contemporary lifestyle
CEO: Andrea Della Valle (Oct 2021–), Diego Della Valle (Oct 2000–)
Luxury footwear, leather goods, clothing and accessories