Bernard Arnault Biography | Early Life | Education | Family | Business | Wealth

Mashum Mollah 2 January, 2023
Bernard Arnault Biography
Name Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault
Born 5 March 1949
Nationality French
Age 73
Net WorthLVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton
Business$181.8 billion
SpouseAnne Dewavrin (m. 1973; div. 1990)​Hélène Mercier ​(m. 1991)
ChildrenDelphine, Antonie, Alexandre, Frédéric, and Jean

“Money is just a consequence. I always say to my team, ‘Don’t worry too much about profitability. If you do your job well, the profitability will come.”

Bernard Arnault is that French Businessman who is constantly competing with the current Twitter CEO and cofounder of Tesla, Elon Musk. But how?

Well, he is the cofounder and the CEO of the LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, the largest fashion luxury brand in the world. This is not one of those startup stories about a middle-class entrepreneur becoming rich.

But Bernard Arnault’s story can also inspire. How? Well, here is a fact: His mother was fascinated with DIOR. Later, Arnault was the man to buy DIOR. He is like a reigning champion in luxury fashion brand products. Here is a briefing of the life and achievements of Bernard Arnault, also known as one of the richest entrepreneurs in the world.


Who Is Bernard Arnault?

Who Is Bernard Arnault? 

As Wikipedia calls him, Bernard Arnault is a french business magnate, an art collector, an investor, and the cofounder and chairperson of Louis Vuitton. By the end of 2022 December Arnault has replaced Tesla CEO Elon Musk, becoming the richest person on earth.

According to Forbes, he is the richest person on earth now. He holds more than 70 luxury products and cosmetics through his brand. Most of his wealth is generated by his fashion luxury brand. He is also named the Legion Of Honor commander (one of France’s highest distinctions). 

Early Life & Education

Early Life & Education

Arnault was born to Marie-Josèphe Savinel, the daughter of Étienne Savinel and Jean Léon Arnault. Arnault’s father was a graduate of École Centrale Paris. He owned a small civil engineering company. Technically, he was born to a family of industrialists. 

His early education started at Roubaix lycée. Later he was admitted to Faidherbe lycée in Lille. Bernard completed his graduation from Ecole Polytechnique with an engineering major. Bernard’s career started with Ferret-Savinel construction company as an engineer.

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Entrepreneurial Achievements

Bernard Quote

In 1978, Bernard Arnault became the chairman of Ferret-Savinel. But before that, he served in different roles in that company. He had multiple promotions leading him to become the chairman of the company. After eight years, he renamed the company Férinel Inc. he moved the company’s focus to the real estate industry. 

He stayed in this company until 1984 before finally. Then he took over the reorganization of Financière Agache, a holding company. He did not stick with it for long because this is where he wanted to start his journey of building the largest luxury and fashion brand. 

(i) Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

The idea of building a leading house of luxury fashion products came to him in the 1980s. He worked with Antoine Bernheim, and Henry Racamier, to build upon that idea. Both came to be the CEO of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in the future. 

Bernard had $15 million of his own. He raised $80 million with the help of Antonie, the managing partner of the French Bank named Lazard Frères, and Co. Bernard needed this money to buy a textile company on the brink of bankruptcy. The company was named Boussac Saint-Frères, and it was the company that owned the fashion house, Christian Dior.

In 1987, Henri Racamier, the chairman of LVMH invited him to invest in LVMH. In a joint venture with Guinness PLC, Arnault got into LVMH. This was the start resulting in massive luxury brands coming under LVMH’s umbrella. 

(ii) Acquisitions


Arnault started to bring different names under LVMH. For instance – Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, and Kenzo. Famous leather goods companies such as Céline, Loewe, and Berluti also came under LVMH. Jewelry brand Fred Joailler, and Sephora, the beauty retailer also are under the shade of LVMH.

Bernard Quote1

But he did not stop there. Starting from the early 2000s, Arnault claimed one brand after another. He acquired the Italian company Fendi in 2003. In 2010, Bernard Arnault acquired La Samaritaine, a famous French department store. The famous Italian jewelry brand Bulgari also came under his supervision in 2011. He also bought Tiffany & Co. (2021), a famous American Jewelry brand. 

The Pope Of Fashion!

Bernard Quote2

The Women’s Wear Daily dubbed Arnault as the Pope of Fashion. This is because of his reign in the world of luxury fashion brands. European fashion enthusiasts have more reasons for this remark. 

In 1995, Arnault appointed the British fashion designer John Galliano and replaced Hubert De Givenchy at the Paris Fashion House. A year after, Arnault appointed Galliano to Christian Dior and gave the position to Alexander Mcqueen, a British Fashion designer

Later, He also hired Marc Jacob, an American designer, as the creative director of Louis Vuitton. None of these designers stayed in their respective positions for long. 

But Bernard made a quick decision about who to appoint and where. His taste in fashion and understanding of the world of fashion is the reason for the restoration of global attention to some of the classic fashion brands. Perhaps this is why the women’s wear daily called him the pope of fashion. 

Personal Life

Bernard Personal Life

Bernard Arnault got married to Anne Dewavrin in 1973; with her, he has two children – Delphine and Antonie. In 1990 they separated and a year later in 1991 Arnault remarried a woman named Hélène Mercier. She was a concert pianist. With her, Arnault has three children – Alexandre, Frédéric, and Jean. 

The Arnault kids have official titles under Bernard’s company. His niche Stephanie Watine Arnault also holds a reputable role in his company. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

When talking about Bernard Arnault, people usually have these questions in mind. I have also provided answers to them.

Q1. Who Runs Louis Vuitton Now?

Bernard Arnault, the richest man in the world, owns Luis Vuitton. He is currently the richest man in the world according to Forbes. Through LVMH, Arnault owns several famous fashion brands such as Christian Dior, TAG Heuer, and more.

Q2. Does Bernard Arnault Own LV?

Yes, Mr Arault owns LVMH. He became the owner of the company by holding the majority of the company’s shares as of 1989. Currently, he is the CEO of LVMH and the richest person in the world.

Q3. Who Is The Face Of Louis Vuitton?

The world-famous fashion conglomerate Léa Seydoux is the face of the fashion brand’s Capucines Handbags Collections.

Bottom Line!

According to many fashion enthusiasts, Bernard Arnault is the king of the luxury fashion world. His ownership of LVMH alone earns him a massive flow of growing revenue. What really sets him apart is his business acumen in the fashion industry.

According to Forbes, the current richest man in the world visits 25 fashion stores every Saturday. These stores include his and his competitors’ fashion products.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is a tech entrepreneur by profession and passionate blogger by heart. He is on a mission to help small businesses grow online. He shares his journey, insights, and experiences in this blog. If you are an entrepreneur, digital marketing professional, or simply an info-holic, then this blog is for you.

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