On Wednesday, Zuckerberg posted an image of himself with Leonardo Del Vecchio, the billionaire chairman of eyewear behemoth EssilorLuxottica and founder of the Luxottica Group. Del Vecchio was testing out a wrist-based device Meta has been developing to pair with the smart glasses the companies are creating in a multi-year partnership. In 2021, they released Ray-Ban Stories, their first-generation smart glasses.
”Great to be back in Milan to discuss plans for new smart glasses with Leonardo Del Vecchio and the EssilorLuxottica team,” Zuckerberg captioned the post. “Here Leonardo is using a prototype of our neural interface EMG wristband that will eventually let you control your glasses and other devices.”
It wasn’t his only meeting in the city. On Thursday, Federico Marchetti, founder of Yoox and former CEO of the Yoox Net-a-Porter, posted his own picture with Zuckerberg on Instagram. “META-PORTER in Milan. Ciao Mark!” he wrote in the caption.
Tagged in the photo were Lorenzo Bertelli, who is the son of Prada’s Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli and poised to take over the company, as well as Geoffroy Lefebvre, the current CEO of Yoox Net-a-Porter. Others in the photo included Renzo Rosso, founder of OTB Group, and Brunello Cucinelli, whose eponymous luxury label has been said to be a favourite of Zuckerberg’s.
The reason for Zuckerberg’s meeting with Marchetti and the other business leaders was less clear from the photo than his meet up with Del Vecchio. But last year, Zuckerberg offered his vision for the metaverse in a presentation that included his idea of what fashion might look like in the blended digital and physical world he imagines.
“Inspiring discussion about the Meta-future,” Rosso wrote in his own Instagram post about the meeting.
In a statement, Meta noted the metaverse won’t be built by one company and that Italian fashion businesses are already using “new technologies like augmented and virtual reality” to sell their goods. “We’re excited to continue to work with Italian partners to bring this vision for the metaverse to life,” it said.