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Bruno Magli

The Bruno Magli company started in 1930s as a family business by Marino, Bruno and Maria Magli in a small workshop at the basement of their home in Bologna, Italy.

Business expanded rapidly and with the financial help of their father, the three young craftsmen were able to invest money into machinery and in 1936 the first factory was opened. The war years with shortages of materials for shoe production forced the family to stop production, but in 1947 the new factory, hiring around 250 workers, was launched.

In the 1951 company opened its first Magli boutique in Bologna in Via Ugo Bassi. At the same time the company started expanding its range and added the men’s line. In 1969 a new factory equipped with modern machinery was opened. Despite the use of the latest in modern technology, much of the craftsmanship in Bruno Magli footwear continues to be done by hand; 30 people are involved into manufacture of a single pair.

In the 1970s Bruno Magli started its operations in the US market, gaining reputation of an up-scale fashion shoe company and in the 1980s it moved into franchising as a means of expanding its retail operations.

In the early 1990s the company began to take a new direction in its women's business both in Italy and abroad, branching out from its classic styles into modern trends, at the same time expanding into apparel and accessories. Starting in the mid-1990s and continuing through the early 2000s, Bruno Magli began to update its image, under the direction of Rita Magli. Since 2000, Bruno Magli concentrated on its worldwide image, with new store designs, advertising, styles, materials and colors.

goal was to create an entire collection for men and women that was fashion forward yet maintained the quality always associated with the company. One facet of the firm's new direction was to hire Bruno Magli's granddaughter, Monica, to design a label called Magli by Monica, which was targeted to a more youthful market than for which it had historically aimed. Bruno Magli also added high-end custom footwear for men and its first men's sportswear line.

2001, the Luxembourg-based investment fund Opera, half owned by Bulgari, acquired a controlling interest in Bruno Magli, representing the first time the founding family lost majority ownership. The firm planned to use the cash to expand its international presence; as part of the deal, Bruno Magli and Opera also acquired Bruno Magli's U.S. operations which managed many franchising and licensing agreements. At the time of the acquisition, Bruno Magli had 60 stores around the world, five of which were wholly-owned, and generated the vast majority of its sales from outside Italy. Bruno Magli manufactures more than a million pairs of shoes and 60,000 handbags per year.

From the beginning, the firm's shoes were purchased by many celebrities; current customers range from Hillary Clinton to Queen Elizabeth II of England. The company retains its dedication to quality—its designs are sometimes likened to architecture—and boasts several products on display at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Company Address: Via Larga 33, 40138 Bologna, Italy.
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