Tech billionaires are out and fashion is in. At the end of 2022, French magnate Bernard Arnault dethroned Elon Musk on top of the world’s richest list, representing Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy and more than 70 distinguished luxury brands under his belt.
But the 73-year-old tycoon isn’t the only big name flaunting the lucrative side of the fashion industry. Ahead, we list down some of the richest figures in the world of style, based on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.
Top 5 Richest Billionaires in the Fashion Industry 2022
1. Bernard Arnault
Net worth: $163 billion
Company: LVMH (Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy)
The man behind LVMH (Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy) has taken the top spot as the world’s wealthiest person, overtaking Tesla and Twitter’s Elon Musk and Indian powerhouse Gautam Adani. Nicknamed the “Wolf in Cashmere” for his supposed ruthless approach in business, the French tycoon governs half of LVMH, which had a revenue of $76 billion (P4.2 trillion) in 2021 alone.
His vast portfolio of ownerships include a 97.5 percent stake in Christian Dior, as well as fellow fashion brands Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Loewe, Kenzo, Celine, TAG Heuer, Bulgari, Rimowa, and Tiffany and Co. Bernard also lays claim to beauty brands like Fenty Beauty, Sephora, Benefit Cosmetics, Kat Von D Beauty, and Fresh, and luxury alcohol name Dom Pérignon.
2. Amancio Ortega
Net worth: $54.9 billion
Company: Inditex, the clothing company behind Zara
Currently at the 22nd spot of the world’s richest is Amancio Ortega, the Spanish businessman who founded the multi-national retail chain Zara in 1975 after making women’s bathrobes with his siblings and soon-to-be-wife Rosalia Mera. Ten years after Zara’s first store, Amancio started the holding company Inditex, which soon introduced and acquired other fashion brands like Pull&Bear, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, and Stradivarius.
Amancio now owns 59 percent of Inditex, and had a revenue of $32.6 billion (P1.8 trillion) in 2021.
3. Phil Knight
Net worth: $43.9 billion
In 1964, American entrepreneur Phil Knight started Blue Ribbon Sports with his former college track couch. Fast-forward to the present, the small atheletic footwear distributor is now the celebrated sportswear brand Nike, which had a revenue of $44.5 billion (P2.4 trillion) in May 2020 to 2021. Alongside the famous swoosh, the business also covers brands such as Converse and Jordan.
4. Alain Wertheimer and Gérard Werthemier
Net worth: $43.4 billion
Brothers Alain and Gérard Werthemier are the force behind Chanel, founded by fashion designer Coco Chanel in 1910. Their grandfather Pierre Wertheimer, along with his brother Paul, launched Les Parfums Chanel, which distributed the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume in 1924.
The Wertheimers ended up taking full control of Chanel’s fragrance and fashion line in 1954. In the nearer present, the luxury brand had a revenue of $15.6 billion (P873 billion) in 2021.
5. François Pinault
Net worth: $35.6 billion
Company: Kering, the company behind Gucci, Yves St. Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, and Alexander McQueen
A French luxury goods founder takes a spot at the world’s richest list again, this time with the 86-year-old tycoon François Pinault, the CEO behind retailer Kering. After starting out in the lumber business, François shifted into buying French department store chain Printemps in 1992. Two years later, he acquired mail-order catalog company La Redoute in 1994, and merged it with Printempts to create Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, otherwise known as PPR.
In 1999, he sought control of Gucci against fellow billionaire Bernard Arnault, then staking his claim with Yves St. Laurent and Balenciaga. PPR is now known as Kering, whose subsidiaries also include Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Brioni, Alexander McQueen, Pomellato, and Qeelin. The business had a revenue of $19.1 billion (P1 trillion) in 2021.
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