Image Source: Courtesy of Forbes
Be it the fine Louis Vuitton leather handbag sitting at the top of your closet, the Dior perfume you got for your birthday or your favorite lipstick from Sephora you’re wearing right now, Bernard Arnault, CEO LVMH, is the man to thank. LVMH is a French conglomerate with headquarters in Paris, It comprises of 70 different brands that can be divided into 6 sectors which includes everything from wine to luxury clothing and accessories to makeup.
Bernard Arnault, now the third richest man in the world according to Forbes and the richest man in the fashion industry, started out in construction with his father. Even in construction he made bold choices that put him on the map but that isn’t all he had in mind. Bernard dreamed of a luxury group back in the 90’s, which at the time seemed unattainable, and is now living his dream. He has been awarded the honorary titles of Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.
“I am very competitive, I always want to win” – Bernard Arnault
His journey started with the purchase of Christian Dior in 1984, he saw the brand to be undervalued and aimed to take it to its true potential. Soon after, he moved on to gain control of LVMH in 1989 following which the dominoes began to fall at the feet of young Bernard.
Bernard not only owns Sephora, but also all of the big names found in Sephora and most of them have LVMH to credit for their success, Kat Von D and Fenty Beauty to name a few have grown tremendously worldwide. Givenchy, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Thomas Pink, Charles & Keith, Hublot and TAG Heuer are only few of the names under LVMH, practically everything identified as luxurious can be found under the tag. He even recently purchased the American brand Tiffany, adding yet another jewel (this time quite literally) to his already magnificent crown. He’s considered the architect that brought these brands together under one house. Despite the diverse range of brands, Arnault says that he’s the closest to Dior and Louis Vuitton.
Arnault identifies his business idea to offer the best quality and most elitist product. He was not only an excellent entrepreneur but had a great sense of fashion and an even greater vision to go with it. Bernard acquired a range of brands and transformed them in accordance with his vision. He credits the success of LVMH to the combination of creativity and organization.
Being a creative genius, Bernard made a $143 million investment for The Louis Vuitton foundation building, a modern art museum and cultural center. The architecture of the museum speaks volumes for the vision of Arnault. In order to support young artists, the LMVH hosts the young fashion designer international student’s competition annually at the museum.
Bernard has come a long way from where he started and continues to grow ebulliently, as Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, puts it: “I wouldn’t be giving Bernard his lifetime achievement award just yet, I think he still has a few more chapters left to write”.
We at Vaqra are sure excited what Bernard may have in store for us in the future.