The son of LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault , Alexandre Arnault is one of fashion’s youngest chief executives. At just 25 years old he helms luxury luggage brand Rimowa, particularly renowned among the celebrity jet-set crowd, and has been influential in propelling LVMH’s digital strategy forward.
Arnault comes from a digital background, originally graduating from Télécom ParisTech before going on to gain a master of research in innovation from École Polytechnique. He has been an influential force in pushing digital to the forefront of LVMH’s agenda, and was a key behind-the-scenes player in the launch of 24 Sèvres, the conglomerate’s new multi-brand e-commerce platform. Speaking about the venture, the group’s chief digital officer Ian Rogers told BoF, “In terms of why LVMH hasn’t gone there sooner, I think the answer is that they did, and it was tough ... they wanted to be sure that if they re-entered this race, that they did it in the right way. Alexandre was really key to that ... I think that having his vision there allowed the group to make this leap again.”
In October 2016 LVMH announced that it would acquire an 80 percent stake in suitcase maker Rimowa for €673.6 million, confirming that Arnault would be appointed co-chief executive upon completion of the transaction, running the German company alongside Dieter Morszeck. His executive appointment came after just three years of behind-the-scenes work at the family holding company Groupe Arnault.
Arnault was reportedly the first to spot Rimowa as a potential acquisition target for LVMH — after Samsonite announced it would acquire Tumi in March 2016, Rimowa was the last high-end luggage brand left on the market — and sources close to the conglomerate say Arnault was also the first to reach out to Morszeck. Upon his official appointment in January 2017, Arnault confirmed plans to open seven stores in addition to the Parisian flagship over the course of the year.
In January 2017 he accompanied his father to Trump Tower for a meet with the US president elect just weeks before his inauguration. He was the only one of Bernard Arnault’s offspring to accompany him, despite being one of three children to hold senior positions at LVMH.
In addition to his native French and English, Arnault is also fluent in German, and has relocated to Cologne, Germany where Rimowa is based.