Bernard Arnault has one of the largest fashion and luxury goods conglomerates in the world. The 61-year old business tycoon from France controls LVMH, maker of world famous brands Moet Chandon and Louis Vuitton. LVMH is a French holding company consisting of over 60 autonomous sub-companies that manage a number of luxury brands. Bernard Arnault is the richest European and the 7th wealthiest man in the world. As estimated by Forbes Magazine, he has a current net worth of $27.5 billion.
Bernard Arnault’s fashion and luxury goods empire makes and markets the world’s most well known brands. Aside from Louis Vuitton, it also markets Fendi, Dior, Hennessy, Marc Jacobs, Celine and TAG Heuer, among others. LVMH was created after the successive mergers of champagne manufacturers Moet et Chandon and Hennessy, and the prestigious fashion house Louis Vuitton. Bernard Arnault is the chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH.
The French mogul was born in a family of entrepreneurs in Roubaix, France on March 5, 1949. He inherited his business expertise from his father, Jean Leon Arnault. After finishing his high school education at Maxence Van Der Meersch and after completing his engineering degree at École Polytechnique in 1971, he immediately joined his father’s business. He eventually took over the company as president in 1979. He expanded his businesses when he migrated to the United States and established another company, Ferinel Inc, which developed condominiums in Florida.
Bernard Arnault’s big break did not happen until 1984, when he flew back to France and decided to pursue the luxury goods industry. He gained control over the textile company Boussac, which included the famous Christian Dior brand in its assets. His empire continued to expand when he took control of Louis Vuitton. He eventually became the chairman and CEO of LVMH in 1989.
Since then, Bernard Arnault constantly strived and this helped make the company become one of the largest luxury conglomerates in the world. His success inspired other luxury companies to follow the same path. Thus, LVMH now has its competitors in the industry, including the French conglomerate PPR, which owns Gucci and Sergio Rossi; and Richemont, which owns Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Montblanc.