Bernard Arnault: The Pope Of The Fashion Industry

Bernard Arnault: The Pope Of The Fashion Industry

Success Stories


  • What’s so fascinating about the “Pope of Fashion”?

  • How did Bernard Arnault build his wealth? Any Secrets?

  • How much is Bernard Arnault’s house worth?

One of the wealthiest billionaires on Earth, Bernard Arnault is the Chairman and CEO of the most famous luxury conglomerate LVMH Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey. Bernard is the king of the luxury world. 

Furthermore, he is popularly known as “the pope of fashion”. There is no other name that comes to mind when we talk about luxury brands. With an estimated net worth of $233 Billion (as of April 2024), he is standing tall among the list of the world’s richest billionaires. 

Bernard Arnault is a French businessman who controls the massive empire of LVMH. It is the world’s leading company in luxurious products. Bernard oversees the business of 70 world-famous fashion and cosmetic brands. Notably, renowned brands such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Sephora, Dom Perignon, Hennesy and Moët et Chandon come under the umbrella of LVMH. 

Bernard Arnault said, “In business, I think the most important thing is to position yourself for the long-term and not be too impatient, which I am by nature, and I have to control myself.” Consequently, this mindset has contributed to his success.

Name  Benard Arnault
Age 75
Source Of Income  LVMH
Nationality French

Childhood & Early Career

Bernard Arnault was born on March 5, 1949, in Roubaix, France. His family belonged to a wealthy industrial background. Specifically, Bernard’s father, Jean Leon Arnault, owned a civil engineering company named Ferret-Savinel. After completing his school education in Roubaix, he went to Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau, France. There, Bernard graduated with an Engineering degree in 1971 and joined his father’s business to expand its horizons. 

Although Bernard was new in the business world, he proved himself with his exceptional strategies and expertise. For instance, he advised his father to dissolve the construction division to gain more profits. His advice of investing in the real estate industry worked wonders and helped the family to grow their business.

Bernard Arnault

Showcasing some excellent business skills, Bernard moved up in the ranks of the company. He became the company’s CEO in 1971 and Director in 1979. Bernard and his family were forced to move to the US in 1981 but that did not impact the company’s profitability. When Bernard Arnault returned to France in 1983, he got the opportunity to associate with Antonie Bernheim. He was the managing partner of Lazard Freres. 

It was Antonie who funded Bernard’s purchase of Boussac. At that time, Bernard also invested in the brand Christian Dior and became its CEO in 1985. In the golden year of 1989, Bernard Arnault invested in the LVMH company and the rest is history. With his vision and expertise in the industry, Bernard made LVMH the ultimate King of the luxury industry. Since then he has been the CEO and Chairman of the company and holds the majority of the shares in LVMH. 

Bernard Arnault & Family: Companies

Brands owned by Bernard Arnault

Arnault is the chairman and CEO of LVMH, one of the largest luxury groups in the world. He co-founded LVMH in 1987 with Alain Chevalier and Henry Racamier. Additionally, he gained the company’s control in 1989. With Arnault’s expertise, LVMH has grown by acquiring several luxury brands including Céline, Berluti, Kenzo, Guerlain, Loewe, Marc Jacobs, Sephora, Thomas Pink, Emilio Pucci, Fendi, DKNY, and La Samaritaine.

About LVMH

Incepted in 1987, LVMH currently owns 75 luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Bulgari, Marc Jacobs, Loewe and many more. Bernard has built LVMH from a small clothing manufacturer to the largest conglomerate in luxury.

The company works in different luxury sectors such as Wine & Spirits, Perfumes & Cosmetics, Watches & Jewellery, Selective retail, Fashion & Leather Goods and many other activities. The Fashion and Leather Goods contribute majorly to the revenue of the company. 

LVMH Group’s Main Lines of Business

LVMH Group's Main Lines of Business

This showcases the excellence of French creativity and design elegance. LVMH has become the absolute emblem of luxury and craftsmanship. Currently, LVMH is the world’s biggest luxury company with a prosperous fortune. One of the most prominent reasons behind the success of LVMH is its exceptional acquisition strategies.

LVMH Group acquired many renowned brands and that’s how the company grew over the period. LVMH made one of the biggest deals in the history of luxury brand acquisitions. It acquired brands like Sephora, Tag Heuer, The Gucci Group, Fendi, Tiffany & Co. and many others. 

Philanthropic Works By Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault contributes generously to the upliftment of society. His company runs many Corporate Responsibility policies supporting the art and culture around the world. In 2019, LVMH donated around 200 million euros to Notre de Paris to restore the damaging effects of the horrific fire. Moreover, the company also founded The Louis Vuitton Foundation which is a museum and cultural centre in Paris. 

Apart from this, Bernard also donated $11 million in 2019 to fight the Amazon wildfires to save the world’s heritage treasure and one of the biggest forests in the world. 

Interesting Facts About Bernard Arnault

  • He is also known as “Wolf In Cashmere”.
  • Not many are aware that Bernard visits as many as 25 stores of his and his competitors every Saturday. He offers suggestions to his staff and even rearranges products on display.
  • He considers Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs as his mentors.
  • Bernard Arnault holds 97% stakes in Christian Dior. 
  • Along with LVMH, Bernard also owns an island in the Bahamas. The land spreads over 133 acres and is worth approximately $35 million. 
  • His company, LVMH, pledged to increase women’s presence in the boardroom and support gender equality. 
  • He is a big-time art lover who also has a collection of rare and antique artworks. 

Facts about Bernard Arnault

Bottom Line

Bernard Arnault, the French billionaire and CEO of LVMH, is a leader in the luxury industry with a net worth of $233 billion. Coming from a wealthy industrial family, Arnault’s strategic genius helped him transform his father’s business and led him to invest in LVMH in 1989, the brand now controls over 75 prestigious brands.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Bernard Arnault’s wife’s name?

Bernard Arnault has been married twice. His first marriage was to Anne Dewavrin from 1973 to 1990, and his second marriage was to Helene Mercier, whom he married in 1991. He has five children: Delphine, Antoine, Alexandre, Frédéric, and Jean. All his five children hold official roles in the brands controlled by Arnault.

What makes Bernard Arnault a good entrepreneur?

Arnault has been praised for his ability to anticipate market trends, his focus on innovation and his willingness to take risks.

Which brands are owned by Bernard?

Fashion & Leather Jewellery and watches Fragrance and cosmetics Luxury retail Wine & Spirit
Louis Vuitton Tiffany & Co. Acqua di Parma La Samaritaine Belvedere
Christian Dior Chaumet Guerlain Le Bon Marché Dom Pérignon
Marc Jacobs Bulgari Fenty Beauty by Rihanna La Grande Epicerie Hennessy
Fendi TAG Heuer Maison Francis Kurkdjian Sephora Château Cheval Blanc
Givenchy Zenith Perfumes Loewe DFS Chateau d’Esclans

Who is the ambassador of DIOR?

Rosalia is the ambassador of DIOR.

Does Bernard Arnault have kids?

Bernard Arnault has three sons- Alexandre, Frédéric, and Jean.

Who is the no. 1 richest person in the world?

Bernard Arnault is the richest person and the richest man in the world. (as of May 2024)

How much is Bernard Arnault’s house worth?

Bernard Arnault house is worth 200 million dollars. It includes a private lake, underground parking space and tennis court. 

What is Bernard Arnault religion?

Bernard Arnault was raised in a devout Catholic household.

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