After taking a degree in philosophy and letters at the Università Cattolica in Milan, Cologni pursued dual careers both as a man of culture and as an entrepreneur in the new sector of luxury objects and accessories.
In his capacity as man of culture, he complemented his academic work with an intense activity as journalist and writer on topics that focused mainly on the history of the theatre, luxury goods, applied arts, watchmaking, jewellery and artistic crafts of excellence. He still collaborates as a columnist with many newspapers and magazines and promotes various high level publications.
He founded and directed the international magazine Cartier Art.
For forty years he collaborated with Cartier, becoming Worldwide Chairman and, following Compagnie Financière Richemont’s acquisition of Cartier, he was appointed Executive Chairman of the Group’s jewellery and watches sectors.
In Milan, he founded the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art, dedicated to the promotion and encouragement of artistic craftsmanship, and the Creative Academy, an international school of design and creative management.
He is also founder and Chairman of the Cultural Committee of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva.
In 2016, together with Johann Rupert, Chairman of the Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, he created the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship, also based in Geneva, the aim of which is to foster and support master craftsmanship at an international level, creating work opportunities while sustaining regional cultures and knowhow.
In 2002, he was appointed Cavaliere del Lavoro in Italy for his entrepreneurship and cultural expertise.
For his contribution to culture and economics, he was appointed Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite, Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Officier de la Légion d'Honneur in France.
In 2015, he curated the “Sala Bellezza” of the Museo del Gioiello in Vicenza.
In 2017, he received the Andrea Palladio International Jewellery Award in the category “The Lifetime Achievement Award” for his outstanding contribution to the innovation of the jewellery and watches business areas, where he opened new horizons and left a significant mark.