Bernard Arnault - Louis Vuitton
Born: March 5, 1949
Country Of Citizenship: France
Residence: Paris , France, Europe & Russia
Occupation: Chairman, LVMH;
Chairman, Christian Dior SA
Net worth: $26 billion US dollar
Fortune: Inherited and growing
Marital Status: Married, 5 children
Education: Ecole Polytechnique de Paris, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Bernard Arnault was born in 5th March 1949. He is the 7th richest person in the world and France's richest person with an estimated net worth of $26 billion US dollars, according to a Forbes report in March 2007.
Arnault is best known for turning LVMH, already a luxury-goods giant when he won control in 1989, into a global empire through acquisitions, savvy marketing, and bold design.
Bernard Arnault is a native of Roubaix, and graduated with an engineering degree from the École Polytechnique in 1971. In 2007, Arnault was listed among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World. He also Said to be a skilled pianist.
At 35, using a combination of family money and loans, he bought Boussac, a bankrupt French textile group that had financed Christian Dior's original fashion house in 1946. Arnault stripped Boussac down to Dior and used it as a vehicle to create LVMH, which was born out of the 1987 merger between Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy. Once in control, Arnault fired executives of both companies, put in his own team, then spent the '90s snatching up still more luxury brands, including shirtmaker Thomas Pink, Chaumet jewelry, Fendi leather goods, the Pucci and Donna Kara...
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...mont, which owns Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Baume et Mercier, IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre, A. Lange & Söhne, Officine Panerai, Vacheron Constantin, Dunhill, Lancel, Montblanc, Montegrappa, Old England, Purdey, Chloé, and Shanghai Tang.
Arnault's influence reaches far beyond couture and champagne. He's a close friend of French President Nicolas Sarkozy; a newspaper baron who's currently selling one business daily, La Tribune, and acquiring its rival, Les Echos; and a powerful arts patron: Arnault got the go-ahead last fall to build a center for LVMH's art foundation in the Bois de Boulogne.
The formula, devised by Arnault, goes something like this: Sharply define the brand identity--or "DNA," as he puts it--by mining the brand's history and finding the right designer to express it; tightly control quality and distribution; and create masterful marketing buzz.
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