The Arnaults with Karl Lagerfeld.

Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, and his wife, Hélène, have amassed a princely fortune of around $91.3 billion (as of 2019), 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. For the opening, artist Sarah Morris created a film about the Frank Gehry building. In 2019, after the Cathedral de Notre-Dame in Paris caught fire, he and LVMH contributed €200 million ($226 million) toward the rebuilding efforts.

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Hélène and Bernard Arnault


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.