Last week, LVMH achieved a historical financial milestone of $500B market valuation becoming the most valuable European company ever.
LVMH owns all of your favorite designer brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hennessy, Givenchy, Tiffany & Co., TAG Heuer, and many MANY more.
The high-fashion French company became the 10th largest company in the world, with its CEO, Bernard Arnault, surpassing Elon Musk in personal wealth at nearly a quarter-trillion dollars.
How Did Bernard Arnault Amass $243B Personal Net Worth?
France is the global trendsetter in everything affluent– fashion, perfume, cognac, and whatever else screams “handsome and wealthy.”
In France, status is as essential as water with the top four most valuable companies being luxury brands.
LVMH is to France what Apple is to America.
In other words, French fashion culture is tantamount to American tech culture.
If Arnault had built his empire in the States during the 1980s, he probably would not be the industry titan he is today.
If Gates or Jobs came up in France, their story probably would be a bit different too.
Different market conditions, labor forces, and consumer behaviors.
In 1984, Arnault purchased a struggling textile company called Agache-Willot-Boussac for $15 million.
This company owned numerous French department stores, including Dior.
He sold nearly all of the other brands to focus on Dior and grow his business into the world’s largest luxury conglomerate.
After turning the textile company around, he sold it in order to use the profits to merge two major luxury brands, Louis Vuitton & Moet Hennesy.
By 1987, he had successfully combined all three companies and a couple of years later he bought out the other shareholders to become head honcho.
Entering the 90s, Arnault leveraged the powerful luxury goods firm he now controlled to aggressively acquire other brands like Celine, Sephora, and Marc Jacobs.
Today, he stands above Elon Musk as the richest man in the world and sits alone as one-of-one in his industry.
His formidable prowess and perspicacious intuition have earned him the nickname of the “Wolf in Cashmere” amongst his contemporaries.
Last year, the world’s leading luxury products group recorded 79.2B euros (or $85.9B) in revenue, setting another record.
Given the skyrocketing value of LVMH, the Arnault estate’s wealth will only continue to rise.
The king of luxury is not alone in this journey– it’s a family affair.
His daughter Delphine is the CEO of Dior and the vice president of Louis Vuitton, while his son Antoine is Dior's vice-chair.
Arnault's other three children also occupy high seats in other LVMH brands such as Tiffany & Co., TAG Heuer, and Louis Vuitton.
As Arnault nears the latter years of his life, many speculate which heir will sit atop the throne when his time is up.
No matter the choice, he will keep in the family.