Recently, Gates, who has been on the list for more than a decade, has been squeezed out of the top two Forbes global rich list, replaced by Bernard Arnault, the big master of the French LVMH group. According to Forbes statistics, as of noon on July 18, Arnault’s net worth has reached $103.2 billion, which is $300 million higher than Gates. Earlier, the Notre Dame demolition fundraising, Arno also donated 200 million euros. However, the current richest man still belongs to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
In March of this year, when Forbes released the annual billionaire list, Arnault’s total wealth was $76 billion, which could squeeze Gates in a short period of time, mainly because Louis Vuitton has been LV) shares rose nearly 50%.
Perhaps Arno is not as famous as Bezos and Gates, but when it comes to his brand, almost all women are obsessed with it. The LVMH Group covers more than 75 high-end brands such as Hennessy, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, and the right-handed “harvesters”. Even the Sephora and DFS duty-free shops frequented by Chinese tourists belong to the LVMH Group. How can this “gentleman” from French gentleman create such a huge fashion luxury empire?
“Buy and buy”
Arnold is also a senior “buyer”, and now the business empire is also replaced by “buy, buy and buy”, just like the pickpocket girl who supports his fashion empire. A master who will “spend money” in this way, his family must not be ordinary. Yes, Arnold is a well-funded child.
Born in Roubaix, France, Arnault graduated from the French Polytechnic University with a degree in engineering. After graduating from college, Arno entered his father’s company. In 1976, Arno persuaded his father to sell the company’s construction business unit at 40 million francs, and instead focused on the real estate industry. The new company was named the welfare company, and the company developed a kind of company. Vacation-specific housing. In 1979, Arnault succeeded his father as president of the company.
Zi Cheng father industry, originally a business story without any bizarre plot, but Arnold is not willing to be ordinary. In the 1980s, the French real estate economy fell into a downturn, and Arno turned to the United States to expand overseas markets. In the three years in the United States, although his own real estate business did not do the same, he learned the Americans’ aggressive business thinking.
After returning to France, Arnault successfully acquired the French textile group Boussac, which is twice the size of the family business, with the support of the family.
At the beginning, Bussack was not a “fragrant”, but a hot potato on the verge of bankruptcy. To this end, Arno mortgaged the family business, self-sufficient $15 million, plus the investment company’s 80 million US dollars, only to get this card.
The meaning of the drunkard is not in the wine, Arno is all about it, in fact, it is the Christian Dior, a fashion brand under the loss of the Bucharest Group. He later admitted that he was ignorant of fashion. The taxi driver in New York awoke him in a sentence: “You are French? I don’t know who your president is, but I know Dior is a French brand.” That is Al For the first time, Nuo realized the brand effect.
Dior became the first brand of Arnault’s many acquisitions in the future, the cornerstone of his vast luxury empire. After taking over Bussac, Arno began a drastic reform. Selling redundant assets and concentrating on building Dior. Within two years, Dior came back to life, and Arnault started it. He was called “the magician who can resurrect the brand.”
Dior’s profitability has enabled Arnault to see the unlimited potential of the luxury goods industry. In 1989, Louis Vuitton’s share price plummeted. Arnault saw the opportunity to buy 43% of the group’s shares for only $1.8 billion and become the largest shareholder. After holding LV, he fired a group of former high-level executives and launched a brutal battle of power. Arnault also appointed his father, Jean Lyon Arnault, as chairman of the company’s supervisory board to consolidate his position.
There is also a lot of controversy behind a series of embarrassing operations. Some people admire his risk-taking strategy. Others say, “Arno’s acquisition of LV is the worst event in French business history.”
Renovation of “old gas street package” LV
Regardless of the after-the-fact evaluation, in the business negotiations, the acquisition of LV is definitely a good deal. Subsequently, Arnault merged the world famous leather goods company Louis Vuitton with the wine family Moet Hennessy to form the LVMH luxury goods group. After Dior’s battle, Arno’s enthusiasm for acquiring the brand was so high that he began to add bricks to the building of LVMH. “As long as he sees a beautiful brand, he wants to put it in his bag.”
Arno’s choice of designer’s vision is also related to his own taste. He is passionate about fashion, he has no choice in dressing style, and often puts on the front page of fashion magazines with the image of “Best Dressed Men”.
Since then, the acquisition of FENDI, KENZO and other brands have followed his consistent approach: the first step, the buying opportunity is concentrated in the economic depression period; the second step, after the acquisition, “receiving freely”, timely and moderately sold, through “贱Buying and selling “re-integration, so that its sub-brands always maintain high profitability. Arnault’s branding seems to be as casual as the acquisition. He sold the high-end fashion brand Christian Lacroix, which he founded decades ago, to the American Falic Group, which surprised the entire fashion industry. Those noble brands in the hands of Arnold seem to be playing the game.
The final step is to have a unique vision when selecting a designer for the brand. This kind of vision has continued until now. Arnold boldly uses young and thoughtful designers from different countries to not only let LVMH’s luxury brands exude deadly charm, entice consumers’ loyal worship and consumption, but also accumulate countless brands. assets.
After the acquisition of Audi, Arnault used the Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre to operate for Dior. After all, proud French talents will not believe that an Italian designer can understand French fashion. However, in 1987, Frey’s debut in Paris “Ascot Cecil Beaton” made a blockbuster, making the world’s eye for Arnold’s eye, and voted in favor of the banknote.
After realizing that the tedious and expensive positioning is no longer suitable for the younger generation, Arnault began to invite avant-garde designers to be creative directors. For example, in 1997, Arnold hired designer Mark Jacobs from New York to serve as the company’s creative director. After studying the history of LV, Jacob invented a series of unique designs with modern flavors, making LV bags increasingly competitive. Enhanced. LV is no longer synonymous with “old gas street bag”.
Celine’s brand re-engineering is Arno’s most brilliant. Under his operation, Celine has become the LVMH flagship luxury brand that competes with Chanel from the second and third line brands. Before the acquisition, Celine was a company that started as a children’s wear. After the acquisition, Arnault handed it to American designer Mike Cole. After 2008, designer Phoebe Filo took control of the power. In less than a year, she launched a big hot handbag, further making Celine a benchmark for women’s fashion.
Just in May of this year, LVMH announced the launch of a new luxury brand Fenty in cooperation with international pop star Rihanna. At present, the official website of Fenty has been fully launched, and the brand has also set up an official account on social media such as Instagram. It is reported that the headquarters of the brand will be established in Paris, and there are other brands in the fashion department of LVMH Group in the same office building, including Celine, Givenchy and Loewe. This collaboration marks the first time LVMH has launched a new fashion brand since the establishment of a high fashion store for Christian Lacroix in 1987. Rihanna also became the first black female creative director of the LVMH group.
Arno’s choice of designer’s vision is also related to his own taste. He is passionate about fashion, he has no choice in dressing style, and he often appears on the front page of fashion magazines with the image of “Best Dressed Men”.
In addition, Arnold also touched people’s consumer psychology. A Givenchy dress sells for tens of thousands of dollars, and the top TAG Heuer watch can cost as much as $50,000 or $60,000. No one really needs these things, and the people who want them are countless.
According to Forbes statistics, as of noon on July 18, Arnault’s net worth has reached $103.2 billion, which is $300 million higher than Gates.
He once revealed the secret of his own brand: “The establishment of a luxury brand is much more difficult than other businesses. It needs to create a consumer demand that does not exist at all. To shape a fashion luxury brand must follow a formula – by mining brand history. And use the appropriate designer to interpret it to define the brand identity; strictly control the brand quality and sales; ingeniously create momentum, attract attention.
As everyone knows, LV likes to use public relations and signing with celebrities to create influence. LV spent $1.5 million on renovating a store in Paris, building scaffolding in the shape of two LV suitcases on the outside of the store. This scaffold became a huge advertisement with remarkable results.
The most effective means is that manufacturing is scarce, and the company launches high-priced products in limited quarters. A $5,550 handbag was originally available only at specialty stores on Fifth Avenue in New York, USA, and consumers in London and New York had to wait a few months to buy the handbag. The purpose of this kind of handbag is not to make money, but to arouse people’s envy.
Of course, there is a benefit to the limit, which is to avoid failure. “We don’t like failure, we try to avoid failure. This is why we take a limited approach to many new products. We don’t expose the entire company to risk because we always introduce new products. Every year, we only have 15% of sales. The results are derived from new products, and others are from traditional, tried and tested classics,” Arnault said in an interview with the media.
Although more dependent on the classics, Arnault never stops. According to the report “Youth Affection Report” released by investment bank Piper Jaffray, LV surpassed Gucci as the favorite luxury handbag for American Z generation consumers. The report’s respondents were 8,000 American teenagers, with an average age of 16.3 years and an average family income of $67,700.
In fact, LV is also the same in China. In order to attract young people, LV put down the luxury goods early, and played digital marketing in China, inviting all kinds of fashion net red knives to promote the content, becoming the first domestic fashion invitation. The blogger takes over the luxury brand of the official WeChat public account. LV has also become the first luxury brand to open the Xiaohongshu brand.
This year, the LVMH Group continues to implement its diversification strategy and recently invested in luxury travel operator Belmond Ltd. for US$2.6 billion. In the most recent quarter, the Group’s fashion and leather goods division led the growth of other businesses with 15% organic growth, driving the Group to achieve 11% growth. Overall revenue for the first quarter reached 12.538 billion euros, up 15.5% from 10.854 billion euros in the same period last year.
In this way, Arnault, the head of the world’s largest boutique empire, uses a smiling gesture to buy and sell brands. It is no wonder that some people describe him as “a wolf wearing a silk shirt.”