The Arnaults with Karl Lagerfeld.
MATTEO PRANDONI/BFA.COM

Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, and his wife, Hélène, have amassed a princely fortune of around $56.3 billion (as of 2017), which makes them some of wealthiest of the ultra wealthy on our list. Bernard has frequently turned to artists for help designing new products for his high-end brands, asking the likes of Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami to make highly coveted handbags for Louis Vuitton, and Jeff Koons to create a special edition Dom Perignon package. In 2014 his Fondation Louis Vuitton inaugurated a $135 million Frank Gehry–designed museum in Paris’s Bois de Boulogne that is rich with postwar and contemporary art. Artist Sarah Morris created a film about the Frank Gehry building.

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Hélène and Bernard Arnault

Location:
Paris

Source of wealth:
Luxury goods (LVMH)

Collecting area:
Contemporary art

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

Arnault has said that the first major work he acquired, in the early 1980s, was a Monet, “which was not only a good painting but also a good investment,” as he told the Financial Times. Amazed that a work by such a famous artist would be available, he decided to make a play for it and was the only bidder.