The Never Hide Interview: Luxottica’s Francis Gros

INTERNATIONAL. The Moodie Report presents the latest in our popular feature series called Never Hide, in which industry interviewees answer quick but revealing questions about their lives and interests inside and outside the industry.

Here we talk to Francis Gros, Travel Retail Director at Luxottica.

How long have you been in the travel retail industry?

Directly, for the past five years – indirectly, over the past 20 in cosmetics and fashion groups. I first attended Cannes in 1989.

What’s your proudest career achievement to date?

Contributing to the growth of sunglasses in travel retail to be the fastest-growing category for the past two years – and maybe three in a row with 2011 – thanks to the support of my team and partners.

Who have been the greatest inspirations in your life and career?

Marcus Aurelius for his philosophy, Woody Allen for his humour, JFK for his vision and my wife for her advice”¦ and patience!

What’s the biggest lesson you have learned in the course of your life?

Do not take anything for granted. And never take no for an answer!

What qualities do you most admire in people?

Ingenuity and humour.

Your company coined the “˜Never Hide’ campaign. In your own life, what do those words represent?

Always advance with a clear agenda. But it’s OK to do it with your Ray-Bans on!

You’re a Frenchman working for an Italian company living in London having just moved from Ireland. Where would your “˜perfect office’ be located?

Probably in Sydney. Not decided yet between Bondi or Manly!

What is your favourite quote or saying?

“What does not kill me, makes me stronger” (Friedrich Nietzsche).

What’s been your best-ever travel or holiday experience?

Landing in Shanghai in 1988 and discovering China at 1am in a closed airport”¦ and being “˜stuck’ for three days on a market visit (yes!) in Vanuatu after a flight cancellation in 1991.

One book, one music album for your desert island – what would they be?

The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and The Complete Chopin Studies Collection.

And if you could take one duty free item?

Probably an iPad (3G!)”¦ and, if you allow me, my pair of Ray-Bans!

If you could invite three iconic figures (they can be living or dead) to your ideal dinner party, who would they be?

Winston Churchill, Audrey Hepburn and Mahatma Gandhi.

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