Bernard Arnault is the third richest man in the world, serving as the CEO of the Luis Vuitton conglomerate since 1989. He was born on the 5th of March 1959 in France. His father was a manufacturer owning a civil engineering company named Ferret-Savinel.
Arnault completed his school from Maxence Van Der Meersch High School in Roubaix. Post schooling, he did his graduation from Prestigious Ecole Polythenique with an engineering degree in 1971.
Right after college, he was keenly interested in his father’s business and planned it to make it more profitable. So, he first decided to convince his father to stop the construction division and fetch the benefits. Then they began investing in real estates, achieving a lot in the process.
His idea took his father’s company to higher ranks which is why he was made the director of development of the same company later on its CEO in 1977. Finally, became its president in 1979.
In the year 1983, Arnault got a remarkable opportunity to expand into the textile industry when the firm Boussac Saint-Freres, was getting dissolved. After cooperating with its managing partner, Antonie Bernheim, Arnault finally found a source to fund his purchase of Boussac.
He sold most of the company’s shares but kept only the Christian Dior brand and the department store Le B Marche. This made the CEO of Dior in 1985. In 1987, he was invited to invest in the LVMH Company along with a joint share with the Guinness PLC.
In the course of time, he continued to invest to gain more of the company and had almost secured 43.5% of it by 1989. However, he did not stop there but continued to accomplish some new companies including Marc Jacobs’, ‘Sephora’, and ‘Guerlain’.
Bernard Arnault’s company LMVH supports a lot of philanthropic activities such as medical research, humanitarian, scientific organizations namely Safe the Children, The Foundation for Hospitals in Paris and the Princess Grace of Monaco Foundation.
In 1995, he appointed a British fashion designer John Galliano at the Paris fashion house. Arnault then hired a young American designer named Mark Jacobs to the post of creative director at Louis Vuitton, a maker of luxury leather goods. By the early 21st century, his fashion sense had been competitively pinning down other traditional fashion houses.
In 2007, Arnault was titled as Commander of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest honour. Later in 2013, he was awarded a KBE – Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for “services to business and the wider community”. His company LVMH has a unique blend of other fashion companies such as Kenzo, Christian Lacroix and Givenchy, the leather goods companies Loewe, Céline, and Berluti; the DFS group and the beauty retailer Sephora.
Although he was a French in origin, he wanted a grand US presence for LVMH. So, he constructed a 23-stored sculpted glass tower on 57th Street in New York in 1999. His perfection and great taste have made his image visible through the window of the fashion world.