Have you ever wondered who profited from those extremely popular Louis Vuitton bags every celebrity seems to have? His name is Bernard Arnault. The below link has a great article from the Wall Street Journal which profiles Arnault, describing his lifestyle and how he managed to keep a striving business (in a somewhat fickle industry) during the recession. Like other successful businessmen Arnault knew how to dismantle and restructure companies, doing this first with his father’s real estate business, and later with his own company LVMH. He also knew how to create and establish luxury brands.
His company LVMH (LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) owns Moet & Chandon champagne, Tag Heuer watches, Belvedere Vodka, Krug, Veuve Clicquot, Zenith and apparel brands Fendi, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Donna Karan (he basically has a diversified mixed bag of assets like fellow French entrepreneur Francois Pinault.
What is most interesting about Arnault’s rise to wealth is that he actually entered the high end luxury goods business after buying a bankrupt diaper and textile company named Boussac, which owned the House of Dior among other assets.
Arnault quickly remodeled his newly acquired company, making it less diaper and more dapper. After selling off most of Boussac’s other assets, besides Dior, Arnault began acquiring luxury brands and hiring top designer talent such as Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs. His products are now on the arms or in the hands of most celebrities.
If you can’t afford a $500 handbag, maybe consider investing in the company which is public (ticker symbol LVMUY.PK and as of this writing is $31 a share), so you can make money next time you witness a celebrity wearing Dior, a Tag Heuer watch, and drinking Krug and Belvedere in the VIP section. Read the WSJ article HERE.