Luxury goods are the only area in which it is possible to make luxury margins. — Bernard Arnault.
Who is Bernard Arnault? Bernard Arnault is Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group. Born to an industrial family in Roubaix, France on March 5, 1949, Mr. Arnault attended the Roubaix lycée and the Faidherbe lycée in Lille. He then went on to study at the Ecole Polytechnique.
One of the world’s ultimate taste-makers, Bernard Arnault oversees an empire of 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
In January 2021, LVMH completed a deal for American jeweler Tiffany & Co for $15.8 billion, believed to be the biggest luxury brand acquisition ever.
LVMH spent $3.2 billion in 2019 for luxury hospitality group, Belmond, which owns or manages 46 hotels, trains and river cruises.
His father made a small fortune in construction; Arnault got his start by putting up $15 million from that business to buy Christian Dior in 1985.
Four of Arnault’s five children work in corners of the LVMH empire: Frédéric, Delphine, Antoine and Alexandre.
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1. In order to be able to sell a product at a relatively high price, you have to offer the craftsmanship and quality that goes along with it. — Bernard Arnault
2. In business, I think the most important thing is to position yourself for long-term and not be too impatient, which I am by nature, and I have to control myself. — Bernard Arnault
3. What made Louis Vuitton famous was the quality. We don’t do marketing; we just create products which are exceptional in their design and craftsmanship. — Bernard Arnault
4. All that interests me is promoting my brands, never myself. — Bernard Arnault
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5. One does not invite a thousand guests to watch a procession of dresses which could be seen on a coat hanger or in a showroom. — Bernard Arnault
6. We have unique products. — Bernard Arnault
7. In the luxury business, you have to build on heritage. — Bernard Arnault
8. Louis Vuitton, the world’s biggest luxury brand in terms of sales, is planning to dampen its expansion worldwide and focus on high-end products to preserve its exclusive image. — Bernard Arnault
9. I like that combination between creativity and the creative process and the organization needed to make a business like this successful worldwide. — Bernard Arnault
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10. A good product can last forever. — Bernard Arnault
11. When I took over Louis Vuitton, everyone said, ‘It’s already so big – what more can you do?’ And since then, we’ve multiplied that success tenfold. — Bernard Arnault
12. If you control your distribution, you control your image. — Bernard Arnault
13. When something has to be done, do it! In France we are full of good ideas, but we rarely put them into practice. — Bernard Arnault
14. My work is to help innovators and designers understand that the success of their creativity is in large part based on the success of their products. Creativity — yes, but executed in a way that people like and can use. — Bernard Arnault
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15. When you are on the management side, you still have to understand the artistic sensibility so that there is a dialogue with the creative side. — Bernard Arnault
16. Happiness for me is really leading the team and, if possible, leading them to the top. — Bernard Arnault
17. I take time to get close to, and I don’t immediately throw my arms around. — Bernard Arnault
18. Mastering the paradox of star brands is very difficult and rare – fortunately. — Bernard Arnault
19. Vuitton has always been a pioneer. — Bernard Arnault
20. Money is just a consequence. I always say to my team, ‘Don’t worry too much about profitability. If you do your job well, the profitability will come. — Bernard Arnault