Maurizio Distefano Licensing wins twice at Bologna Licensing Awards

LIFE collaborations with Clementoni and Benetton honoured in two major categories


Maurizio Distefano Licensing (MDL), which manages licensing for a number of major brands in the Italian market, has enjoyed success in two major categories at the 2022 Bologna Licensing Awards. Both wins recognise MDL’s work with LIFE – a brand inspired by one of the most the iconic names in 20th century photojournalism.


The partnership between educational toy company Clementoni and LIFE won Best Adult Licensing Project for a collection of licensed puzzles using LIFE imagery. The puzzles were praised for their distinctive design, which created strong branding on a challenging product type thanks to the highly effective use of iconic LIFE images.

Another MDL-inspired partnership – between global fashion brand Benetton and LIFE – won the Best Adult Fashion Project category for using LIFE magazine’s magnificent shots in a new collection of organic t-shirts and sweatshirts. Benetton’s collection impressed the jury both for the garment designs and for the effectiveness of the supporting campaign, which enjoyed strong coverage.

The awards ceremony took place in the evening of 21 March at Palazzo Re Enzo, in the heart of Bologna on day one of the 14th edition of the four-day Bologna Licensing Trade Fair 2022. The Bologna Licensing Awards are the only awards in the field of licensing in Italy and on this occasion assessed more than 130 projects from all over Europe.


The awards recognised the best licensing projects developed during 2020 and 2021 in preschool, kids, teen and adult markets, in categories that included retail, fashion, publishing, promotion and kiosk. There was also an award for best property of 2021.


Award-winning products and projects in the individual categories were on display for all visitors to the show in specially designed showcases.


The jury, all respected members of the licensing industry, included: Ivan Colecchia, Business Development Senior VicePresident at BrandTrends; Lisa Hryniewicz, Owner of Koko Rose Media, an expert in media, children’s IP development and strategic marketing for over 25 years; Helena Mansell-Stopher, Managing Director and Founder of Products of Change, an online hub for sustainability aimed at licensed consumer goods; Cecilia Padula , VP Kids & Family Brand South Europe, Middle East and Africa for Paramount Global, with extensive experience in television, media and entertainment; and Will Pearce, Managing Director of The Insights Family.


Since its first issue in November 1936, LIFE magazine has been the most respected source and collection of photojournalism in the world. Its photojournalists immortalized some of the most significant events of the 20th century from many fields including celebrity, history, fashion, sports, cinema and nature. There’s no doubt that its iconic images have withstood the test of time. This brand strength, along with the continuing relevance of its imagery, has driven a licensing campaign on which MDL has been working with partners in such categories as apparel, stationery, wall art, puzzles and homewares.


Maurizio Distefano says, “These awards are recognition both of the power of a unique brand and of the hard work done by the MDL team with Clementoni and Benetton in bringing LIFE imagery so effectively to such diverse product areas. We are thrilled to be honoured at Italy’s premier licensing awards.”

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