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United Colors of Benetton co-founder dies aged 77

Gilberto Benetton, one the co-founders of fashion retail chain United Colors of Benetton, has died aged 77 following a short illness.

The fashion chain was founded by siblings Gilberto, Luciano, Carlo and their sister Guiliana in 1965. Benetton became well known during the 80s and 90s for its bright, colourful sweaters and infamous advertisements.

One of its most recently talked about campaigns was the one which showed images of migrants being rescued from the Mediterranean in June 2018. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini described it as “despicable” and SOS Méditerranée accused the company of using pictures of “people in distress”.

For over a decade, the brand has seen a decline in demand. The Benettons are one of Italy’s richest families, owning businesses in the transport, catering and construction sectors. Gilberto’s passing comes just three months after the death of his brother Carlo, who was aged 74.

The Benetton group released a statement which said: “Gilberto Benetton died at home today in Treviso [north-east Italy] following a brief illness. His wife, Lalla, daughters Barbara and Sabrina and son-in-law Ermanno were with him in his final moments.”

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