Maurizio Distefano, is the founder and President of the full-service licensing and management consulting agency that takes his name.
When he founded Maurizio Distefano Licensing (MDL) five years ago Maurizio brought to this new enterprise more than 20 years’ expertise in marketing and licensing and a strong network of contacts with licensors, agents, TV broadcasters, distributors, retailers, licensees and operators in Italy and abroad.
Before MDL Maurizio worked in senior roles with both entertainment and FMCG brands for many major names. These include Warner Bros, Rainbow S.p.A., Sutter Group, Bolton Manitoba, Kellogg Italia SpA and Nestlè Perugina.
This extensive background has given Maurizio very clear ideas about the strengths and weaknesses of the market and a strategic vision of the evolution of licensing: the full name of MDL is in fact Maurizio Distefano – the Evolution of Licensing.
This is an agency that carefully selects and manages properties and brands with the aim of offering licensees a one-stop shop, where they can find all the answers to their business needs. MDL acts as an agent for the sale of licenses in Italy and abroad and as a consultant for licensors or licensees that need a project tailor-made for the licensing world. It also works as an all-round management consultant, supporting clients in optimization and business development in Italy and abroad.
MDL focuses on a number of well-known or growing brands, many with a strong web presence and potential for the development of multimedia activities, a market that MDL feels will grow more and more in the future.
In the short period since it was founded by Distefano MDL has brought many major brands into its portfolio. They include entertainment hits like Bing, Masha and the Bear (the top property in Italy for pre-schoolers), Angry Birds and emoji, not to mention hot new arrivals such as Gigantosaurus and Zafari.
It’s no coincidence, however, that Maurizio has been asked to discuss MDL’s experience in developing fashion brands for licensing purposes at BLE. Reflecting the evolutionary reference in its name, MDL has now expanded the scope of its work beyond entertainment by embracing fashion licensing programs.
In particular, the company has brought its expertise to bear on the enormous but so far underdeveloped licensing opportunities offered by such highly sought-after fashion brands as Stefano Cavalleri, Filippo Laterza and Premoli + Di Bella. You can see some examples of Premoli + Di Bella’s work at the entrance to the Excel. There’s even a crossover with the entertainment side of MDL’s business: Filippo Laterza’s fashion line developed for Angry Birds was previewed at a Haute Couture Runway in Milan and has also been shown in London, Shanghai and Florence. You can see examples of this work at BLE as well.
MDL is bringing some of Italy’s most inspired and innovative fashion stars to a wider audience through creative partnerships that will take fashion style into the licensing arena – and aims to establish MDL as the leading agency in this field. It’s another important stage in MDL’s continuing evolution, and one that Maurizio Distefano feels is one of the most exciting to date.