Gilberto Benetton, Founder of Iconic Fashion Brand, Dies at 77

Daniele Venturelli/WireImage
Gilberto Benetton and daughter Sabrina

Gilberto, along with siblings Carlo, Luciano and Giuliana, founded the Benetton knitwear company in 1965.

Gilberto Benetton, one of the four founding siblings of the iconic Italian fashion group Benetton — known as much for its shock-factor ad campaigns as its colorful knitwear — died Monday evening, the company announced. He was 77.

His family said he died at his home in the northern city of Treviso, Italy, where the company is based. Italian news reports said he had suffered from an undisclosed illness.

Gilberto, along with siblings Carlo, Luciano and Giuliana, founded the Benetton knitwear company in 1965, transforming it into a global brand.

Over the years, the family became more involved in financial investments through the Edizione holding company, including in Autostrade SpA, which has been under pressure since the collapse of a Genoa highway bridge in August that killed 43 people.