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Bernard Arnault

Position: CEO of LVMH

Industry: Luxury goods

Citizenship: France

Date of Birth: 03.05.1949

If we had to think of a trend setter, Bernard Arnault would definitely be the one. The world’s most powerful luxury magnate owns Louis Vuitton, Henessy, Givenchy and dozens of other brands. Apart from that, he’s a very generous philanthropist and art collector.

From construction company to the world of luxury brands

1977 — Arnault succeeds his father as president of his retail company Férinel.

1985 — Arnault acquires several companies, one of which owns multiple assets, including Christian Dior.

1987 — The businessman is invited to invest in LVMH by Henri Racamier, then chairman for the conglomerate.

1988—2001 — LVMH acquires the most well-known luxury brands including Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, DKNY, Sephora and dozens of others.

1999 — Arnault opens a centre in New York, LVMH Tower, to expand company’s presence to the United States.

2007 — The entrepreneur takes a 9.1 per cent stake in French major supermarket Carrefour together with U.S. private equity group Colony Capital.

2014 — Arnault, which is known for his art patronage, opens Fondation Louis Vuitton museum near Paris, making an investment of around $135 million.

2019 — Arnault on behalf of LVMH promises to donate $220 million to help restore the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris following a terrible fire that almost ruined the building.

Interesting facts

  • Arnault’s key brand Louis Vuitton never goes on sale. The customers will never find it at a discounted price.

  • One of the oldest brands Arnault owns is Chateau d’Yquem, a French winery created in 1503 in in the southern part of the Bordeaux.

  • Apart from dozens of luxury brands, Arnault owns an island in the Bahamas which is called Indigo. The property is now worth $35 million.

  • Arnault attended both wedding ceremonies of the 23rd President of France Nicolas Sarkozy.

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