Bernard Arnault Karl Lagerfeld

Bernard Arnault

Chairman & Chief Executive, LVMH

The French business magnate controls LVMH, with more than 60 brands, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy and Céline.

France Executives

The French business magnate controls LVMH, with more than 60 brands, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy and Céline.

Bernard Arnault's live mosaic

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Biography

The man at the helm of luxury’s largest conglomerate, Bernard Arnault and his luxury group LVMH are set to leave an indelible legacy on the fashion industry due to the sheer scale of LVMH’s acquisitions, and the group’s continuing profitability.

In addition to LVMH, Arnault oversees further investment and holding vehicles. Groupe Arnault has invested in NetFlix and Blue Capital and also took a major stake in French food chain Carrefour. In addition he has invested in Boo.com and a variety of other online ventures, as well as buying Princess Yachts outright.

Arnault began his career working for his father’s manufacturing company. Five years into working for the company, Arnault convinced his father to liquidate the construction division and enter the real estate market.  Under the name Férinel, the new company initially developed specialty holiday accommodations. Named a director of the company in 1974, he became chief executive in 1977. In 1979, he succeeded his father as president of the company.

In 1984, with the help of Antoine Bernheim, a senior partner of financier Lazard Frères et Cie., Arnault acquired Financière Agache, becoming chief executive and taking control of Boussac, a beleaguered textile company which owned, among other assets, Christian Dior and the department store Le Bon Marché. Arnault used this foothold in the luxury business to begin building what would become the world’s largest luxury conglomerate.

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