French businessman and chairman of LVMH, Bernard Arnault, has recently usurped Bill Gates as the world’s second-richest man, behind Jeff Bezos. Arnault’s net worth kicked up to $107.6 billion this Tuesday, propelled by his outstanding success in 2019, in which Arnault has already amassed $39 billion. This marks the first time in seven years when Bill Gates has not been among the top two richest men alive.
Arnault formed LVMH in 1987 and the multinational luxury goods conglomerate has since grown into the king of all luxury brands. LVMH controls over 60 subsidiaries including Hennessy, Dior, TAG Heuer, and more. Luxury products like Louis Vuitton bags are often marked up 20 times the cost to manufacture them, creating outstanding profit margins for LVMH brands. The power of a brand can never be underestimated in its attraction to consumers.
LVMH has recently announced a collaboration with music star Rihanna. She joins the long list of celebrities who embody the power and status behind these highly coveted brands. Their luxury brands will continue to thrive in this era of social media influence and rapidly growing consumerism.