October 31, 2012

Antoine Arnault – The Fashion World’s Most Eligible Bachelor

If there’s a family that dominates the global fashion world, it’s the Arnault family. Business magnate Bernard Arnault. CEO of the LVMH conglomerate, is the fourth most wealthy person in the world as of March 2012, according to Forbes.

The LVMH conglomerate was founded in 1987, after the merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton with the Moët Hennessy company, formed as well through the merger of champagne producer Moët & Chandon with cognac producer Hennesy in 1971. Currently, the LVMH group manages over 60 subsidiary businesses, which control a series of prestigious brands. Among the most powerful labels owned by LVMH are fashion houses Givenchy, Fendi, Berluti, Louis Vuitton, Guerlain Bvlgari and Loewe, as well as luxury labels Veuve Cliquot, TAG Heuer, Zenith or Chaumet.

Bernard Arnault was careful to bring his children, Antoine and Delphine, into his world, introducing them into his business. Thus, currently, Delphine Arnault is a member of the LVMH administration council, as well as director of Dior, while Antoine Arnault is communications director of Louis Vuitton, as well as an administrator of the LVMH group and, as of this October, CEO of luxury menswear brand Berluti.

Taught by his father from an early age how to communicate with designers, Antoine is following in his footsteps and succeeding. “I was taught fashion very early, from the age of 12 when my father bought and created the group. We spent all our weekends in stores, speaking about brands, discussing advertising. I had a couple of rebellious years when I didn’t want to be bothered with it, but I very naturally came back to it. If you’re going to work in fashion, you’re surrounded by creativity and beautiful people. The fact that we were initiated into it very early gave me and my sister Delphine a head start. We feel things, brands, streets, we know where it’s going to happen maybe a tiny bit before the others, so we use that.”

Even though his life is not documented in gossip magazines, thanks to the fact that he was raised with real values about the importance of work and respect for the people, at just 35, Antoine Arnault has the world at his feet – he is the head of some of the most important businesses in the world, a world-class poker player and dating Natalia Vodianova, one of the most successful supermodels today.

Antoine Arnault and Natalia Vodianova, front row at the Dior S/S 2013 show

Although one might think that he is too young to be his appointed as head of some of the most successful companies on an international level,  Antoine is truly the perfect person for this job. Bought in the 90s by LVMH, the Berluti brand has an extraordinary potential of raising the conglomerate’s profits. Currently, Louis Vuitton is the group’s main grossing business, bringing 37% of the profit, but there’s always a need for diversity, and the luxury menswear sector is exactly the way to go, given that it is currently one of the hottest growth areas in fashion.

And since Berluti in not such a well-known name within the US or the UK, Arnault’s background in marketing and communications offers him a clear advantage, necessary to introduce this label among luxury goods consumers.

About his job, Antoine says: ”I work hard and, yes, my father trusts me more and more and we’re more involved in business decisions…It’s a great life and a great job.”

Photos courtesy of: archivio.grazia.it, tumblr.com, zimbio.com