Fashion is the glamour that validates our existence. It’s the flavor that adds taste to our different lifestyles and cultures. Have you ever provoked your mind into a state of questioning the way life would’ve been if there was nothing like fashion? How dull and incomplete our lives would be?
Just imagine a situation where items that attribute to our beauty and glamour such as shoes, clothes, purses, wallets, bracelets, and caps never existed. Would life still be beautiful and glamorous as it is? The fashion industry is currently valued at more than 2.4 trillion with hundreds of thousands earning a living from it. It’s also ranked top among the industries with the largest number of billionaires.
Want to know who those billionaires are? Read along to know the shareholders holding this industry still and their net worth.
1. Bernard Arnault
Net worth: $109.6 billion
1949 French-born and a renowned businessman, Bernard Arnault is a force to reckon in the fashion industry. His journey to greatness started soon after he took over his father’s construction company, Ferret-Savinel, in 1971. Only 8 years after he took over the control of this company, Bernard renamed the firm to Ferinel Inc.
In 1979, Bernard together with Antoine Bernheim raised $80 million to buy the Christian Dior’s Boussac Saint-frères, a textile company that was already on its way to business extinction owing to bankruptcy.
Eight years down the line, Henri Recamier, the chairman of LVMH invited him to co-invest in the company. He overthrew Recamier in 1990 and started accepting investment bids from fashion firms and leather goods companies like Givenchy, Celine, Christian LaCroix, Lower, Kenzo, DFS group, and Sephora.
Technically, Arnault embarked on the journey of reclaiming LVMHs glory by channeling more time, effort, and finances to the production of high-class and high-value luxury products. His efforts didn’t go unrewarded since they helped make the company great again. He has been the CEO and chairman of LVMH MOET Hennessy since then.
Bernard Arnault is not only the richest man in the fashion industry but also the third richest man in the world. He is also the president of the Groupe Arnault S.E board of Directors.
2. Amancio Ortega
Net worth: $70.6 billion
Second in the list of the world’s richest men that earned their wealth through trading fashion goods is Amancio Ortega. With a net worth of $70.6 billion, Ortega is the second richest clothing retailer globally, and the second richest European, currently. Ortega is the gland master when it comes to fast fashions.
Most of his wealth was acquired through Inditex, a renowned company specializing in the creation of Zara Fashion, which he co-founded with her ex-wife Rosalia Mera in 1975. More than 20% of Inditex profits are channeled to his personal bank accounts, meaning he is the core shareholder.
The company has 8 well-performing brands among which are Pull &Bear and Massimo Dutti. Her products are sold in more than 7500 global stores. He earns not less than $400 million in yearly dividends. Most of the dividends are channeled in real estate investments based in New York, Barcelona, London, Chicago, Madrid, and Miami.
He is currently ranked the sixth wealthiest man in the world. Ortega also owns other businesses such as the Confecciones Goa, Torre Picasso Madrid-based skyscraper, Miami, Florida-based Epic residences, and the Amazon Seattle headquarters’ building known as Je Troy Block complex.
3. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers
Net worth: $64.1 billion
The third-richest person in the fashion industry is Bettencourt Meyers. She is currently the world’s richest woman and the wealthiest lady in the fashion industry. Bettencourt Meyers alongside family has shares in the LOréal stock, equating to 33% of the entire company’s stock. Francoise Bettencourt began her journey to prosperity in 1997 when she took over the chairwomanship of her family holding company.
Upon the death of her 94-year-old mother, Liliane Bettencourt in 2017, Francoise became the reigning heiress of the LOréal Company. She has since then served as the chairlady and the president of the company. She also doubles as the family philanthropic foundations president. The philanthropic foundation deals with helping enhance Frenchs success in arts and sciences.
Her leadership in the two family businesses has seen her rank among the 20 richest people all over the world. With an estimated net worth of over $64.1 billion as of June 2020, Francoise is no doubt a force to reckon in the fashion industry.
4. François-Henri Pinault
Net worth: $37.8 billion
Born in France on 21st August 1936, Francois-Henri Pinault comes fourth in the list of the richest people in the fashion industry. Pinault is a popular billionaire and businessman in French, known for establishing and overseeing successful fashion companies such as the Luxury Group Kering and Artemis Investment Company.
Francois-Henri began his journey to greatness in the 1960s, when he started a timber business, before he later changed to retain business, and then luxury and fashion. Back then, he operated his retail business under the name PPR, before he changed its name in 1999 to luxury and Fashion Company. Four years later, he transferred the management of the company to Francois-Henri, his elder son for him to explore his zeal for contemporary art, and move the company towards optimal success.
But before then, Pinault had purchased tons of fashion companies. First, under his luxury and fashion company, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, Pinault bought 42% of the Gucci Group for $3 billion, making him one of the sole shareholders. He later bought Yves Saint Laurent Company, French Jewelry company Boucheron, the British Fashion House Alexander McQueen, and the Balenciaga. Alongside his family, Pinault owns the iconic auction house Christie’s and over 3000-piece art collection featuring great works by Moons, Picasso, and Mondrian.
5. Tadashi Yanai
Net worth: $24.3 billion
The over $2.4 trillion fashion industry would perhaps not be so valuable if Tadashi Yanai didn’t come into the picture. For those hearing this name for the first time, Tadashi Yanai is a widely celebrated billionaire and businessman in the Japanese fashion arena. He is the founder, owner, and CEO of the renowned Japanese Clothing Empire Fast Retailing, which is the chief company of Uniqlo.
He’s not one of the oldest brains in the fashion industry, but his smartness and intuitiveness saw him hack the puzzle and earn a name, both in the fashion industry and on a global interface. His journey to greatness started way back in the 1970s when he started selling men’s clothing and kitchenware at the Jusco Supermarket before he joined his father to man a tailor shop in the suburban areas of Japan.
His humble beginnings didn’t stop him from pursuing greatness. He changed the name of the tailor shop from Ogori Shoji to Fast Retailing in the 1990s, with the aim to make the name reflect his definition of a successful fast-fashion business. However, before then, he had opened a Uniqlo store in Hiroshima back in 1984. He has been working as the independent director of the widely known Japanese technology Conglomerate. In May this year, Tadashi Yanai was named the 40thrichest man in the world and the wealthiest man in Japan.
6. Alain Wertheimer & Family
Net worth: $23.9 billion
It would be a taboo to list all billionaires and tycoons mesmerizing the Fashion Industry without mentioning Alain Wertheimer. Alain Wertheimer together with his brother Gerard have seen their names appear in some of Frances’s top magazines and newspapers over the last few years. They’ve also graced the websites and blogs of some of the most trusted bloggers and news sites in France. With a net worth of $12.7 billion each, the two brothers co-own the intentionally reputed and trusted French fashion house, Chanel.
Gerard runs the company’s watch department, while Alain oversees and controls most of the company’s operations. The two inherited the company from Pierre Wertheimer, their grandfather who started the company back in 1913 together with Gabrielle Coco Chanel. The death of Chanel in 1971 didn’t render the brand useless, Pierre oversaw the continued and smooth progress of the company, though they didn’t change the trademark cuts or designer styles.
Alain runs this family business and together with his brother have managed to acquire several non-Chanel brands among which are Tanner Krolle Saddles & leather goods and Eres Lingerie &Beachwear. They also own a range of vineyards in France, among which are the Saint-Emilion-based Chateau Canon and Margaux-based Chateau Rauzan-Segla.
7. Stefan Persson
Net worth: $18.5 billion
The 7th richest fashionista still comes from the European continent. Born and raised in Sweden, Stefan Persson has an estimated net worth of $18.5 billion as of 2020. That makes him the 17th wealthiest man across the globe, the richest billionaire in Sweden, and the wealthiest fashionista across the Northern parts of Europe.
Stefan Persson’s wealth is acquired from H&M, a leading fashion company in Sweden. He owns and chairs H&M, a fashion-based company he inherited from his father in 1982. He is also a key stakeholder in the Swedish technology company known as Hexagon AB. Alongside the fashion companies, he owns a range of other properties in Stockholm, London, and Paris.
In May 2020, Persson stepped down for his son, Karl-Johan who has been the company’s CEO since 2009.
8. Anders Holch Povlsen
Net worth: $10.1 billion
Anders Hooch Povlsen is a tycoon and billionaire businessman based in Denmark. He owns and oversees the operation of the Danish Fashion retailer Bestseller. The company which his father started in 1975 was handed over to him in 1990 when he was only 28 years old.
Danish Fashion retailer Bestseller is the parent company of widely reputed fashion labels such as Jack&Jones, Vero Moda, and Only. Anders Hooch Povlsenis is the biggest shareholder of Asos.com, the British internet clothes retailer, and the second biggest in Zalando, the German internet retailer.
Anders was named the world’s wealthiest Dane in 2018. He owns more than 221,000 acres of land in Scotland, and more than 155,000 acres in Sutherland, which makes him the biggest landowner in Scotland. Anders as well owns the Sutherland-based Eriboll estate and Loch Ness-based Aldourie. All these alongside many other untold properties and businesses contribute to his over $10.1 billion net worthiness. He also appears in the top 200 richest men in the world.
9. Ralph Lauren
Net worth: $5.9 billion
It would be unfair to conclude our list of the world’s trending billionaires in the fashion industry without mentioning Ralph Lauren. This American born fashion designer doubles as a businessman and philanthropist. His name came into the limelight alongside the birth of Ralph Lauren Corporation, an internationally reputed multibillion-dollar enterprise. Lauren is widely known for the unique car collections, some of which ended up in museum exhibitions.
In 2015, Lauren gave out the CEO roles but kept the chief creative officer and executive chairmanship roles. Back in the years before he became a full-time fashion investor and businessman, Ralph Lauren served in the United States Army. He later worked as a sales assistant for Brooks Brothers.
As a passionate sports enthusiast, Lauren introduced full-time menswear named Polo in 1968. In the early years, he operated from the Empire State Building and delivered all the orders himself. Three years later, his Ralph Lauren Corporation initiated a new line of women shirts. These featured the Polo logo and managed to introduce it fully to the world. Lauren also managed to open the first freestanding store on Rodeo Drive, which is in Beverly Hills in California the same year.
1972, Lauren through the Ralph Lauren Corporation initiated the cotton mesh Polo shirt signature that cam in multiple colors. Lauren also owns Warner-Lauren, LTD, a corporation specialized in the creation of fragrances for women and men.
10. Masahiro Miki
Net worth: $3.7 billion
The last man worth a mention whose contributions towards the fashion industry can never go unrewarded comes from Japan. Known as Masahiro Miki, he is a popular figure in the Japanese fashion industry and a renowned billionaire businessman.
Miki is the founder, owner, and the biggest shareholder in the ABC-Mart, the biggest shoemaker in Tokyo. He founded and owned Kokusai Boeki Shoji, a popular shoe and apparel company in Japan, which changed its name to ABC-Mart in 1990. There goes the list of the 10 richest people in the fashion industry.