Bernard Arnault

Emperor of Luxury

The man who built the world's largest fashion and luxury-goods group didn't do so by being soft and frilly. Bernard Arnault, 54, controls Christian Dior and LVMH, which markets some 50 well-known brands, including Marc Jacobs fashions, Louis Vuitton bags and a cluster of famous champagnes. He put his empire together over 20 years and often used hard-nosed tactics to get what he wanted. He may not have created LVMH's brands, but more than anyone, Arnault understood their worldwide potential and how to exploit it.

Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Arnault got his big break in 1984, when he...

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