Net Worth

Bernard Arnault: The Entrepreneur’s Fortune

How rich is Bernard Arnault?

When the tills ring at Sephora, Louis Vuitton and Co., Bernard Arnault’s fortune continues to grow. The French, who applied for Belgian citizenship, can now call an entire empire full of luxury brands his own. The entrepreneur is the richest European and therefore one of the richest people in the world. Arnault has been the majority owner of Dior since 1985 and since 1989 he has also had a hand in the luxury company LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. From glamorous handbags that cost half a fortune to fine champagne, which of course comes from France, Bernard Arnault earns his living with the beautiful things in life. Even a French business newspaper is now part of his impressive empire. Meanwhile it has Bernard Arnault made a fortune of 175.1 billion euros with his luxury articles.

Top brands under the LVMH umbrella

Some of the most famous brands under the DACH from LVMH:

  • Alcohol: Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, Armand de Brignac, Krug, Belvedere, Hennessy
  • Fashion and accessories: Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Dior, Celine, Kenzo, Berluti, Rimowa, Fenty
  • Clocks: Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Zenith, Hublot

From the small construction worker to the multimillionaire

Bernard Arnault and Louis Vuitton
The extremely rich French man owes his fortune not least to his ancestors. After all, his father once made a lot of money in the construction industry. So the son had the change he needed to join Christian Dior. This smart move ultimately cost him a good 12.5 million euros. Even at Hermes, Arnault, who has a degree in engineering, is now one of the shareholders. Before he got into the French luxury goods business par excellence, the clever entrepreneur did indeed worked in the construction industry. In both France and the USA, he has built luxury holiday homes, thereby proving his entrepreneurial skills for the first time.

After returning from the USA, the Entry into the fashion business. The billionaire has had a decisive influence on the French and thus also the global fashion landscape – albeit mainly behind the scenes. After all, without Bernard Arnault, Christian Lacroix would not be as successful nowadays. It was thanks to the entrepreneur that he entered the fashion business in 1987. Bernard Arnault started out very small in construction and has managed to become a multimillionaire. Now he’s at the forefront of the richest people in the world. Surrounded, on the lists of the richest, by Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and other greats.

Bernard Arnault has the right nose

Bernard Arnault's fortune
Bernard Arnault recognized early on which brands would fit his portfolio and how he could expand it as profitably as possible. Also in 1987, he bought Celine, a luxury leather company. Whether Dior, Celine or Louis Vuitton, some of the biggest labels in the world have made the French rich and could make his fortune grow even further in the future.

The entrepreneur always has his finger on the pulse. He was also able to set new records in the 2017 financial year, for example, by working with the megastar Rihanna. The Fenty Beauty beauty collection, launched by Arnault’s company with the singer, hit the market like a bomb. Now the fashion brand “Fenty” is being rebuilt directly under the roof of LVMH together with the singer.

In 2021, LVMH bought 50% of the “Armand de Brignac” champagne brand from rapper Jay Z, thereby expanding its cooperation with the world’s top stars.

At Louis Vuitton, too, new collaborations with great artists ensure that the label can generate record sales. However, Bernard Arnault describes himself as a cautious man. He doesn’t take rash steps and fears another global economic crisis. Nevertheless, the entrepreneur can currently consider himself lucky. Because especially in Asia, the luxury products of the various Arnault companies are in such high demand that the group can hardly meet the demand. The grapes for the champagne and cognac are running out and the fashion and luxury leather goods companies of the Arnault empire are always looking for new employees. Nevertheless, the company boss does not allow himself to be carried away into rash investments and expenditures. Because he wants to be well positioned even in the event of a crisis and to be able to continue to run his companies profitably.

Image sources:
Cover photo: @BernardLVMH / Twitter
Bernard Arnault: By nicogenin (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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