Fashion has been on an upward trend for the last few decades and when we talk about the industry, fashion brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior and retailers like Nike, H&M, Zara, or Inditex come to mind.
The $2.5 trillion global industry had made its leading players, from designers and CEOs to founders and heiress, very rich. Despite the pandemic, the fortunes of the rich peoe in the industry actually surged in the last couple of months.
Here are the richest people in the fashion world in 2021:
- Bernard Arnaul- $150.9 billion
The chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company, became the richest person in the world in January 2020, although for a short period in time. His fashion empire includes well known brand such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Moet-Hennesy, Bulgari, Marc Jacobs, Hublot and many more. The company also owns American jeweler, Tiffany & Co and luxury hotel group, Belmond. Bernard Arnault controls about half of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
2. Amanico Ortega- $74.2 billion
Amanico Ortega founded Inditexwith his ex-wife Rosalia Mera back in 1975 and owns 59 percent of the world’s largest fashion retailer. The retail giant is known for its Zara fashion chain. It also presides over other brands such as Pull & Bear, Bershka, Oysho, Masimo Dutti, Stradivarius, ZARA Home and Uterque.
Inditex has more than 7,500 stores around the world and Ortega gets over $400 million/year from dividends alone which he invests into premium offices and retail properties in Madrid, Barcelona, London and New York.
3. Phil Knight- $152.9 billion
Phil Knight is the founder of shoe giant Nike. Knight, a former track runner, started the company that would become Nike with his college track coach, Bill Bowerman, in 1964. Today, Nike is the biggest maker of athletic shoes and sports apparel in the world, with over 1,100 stores and revenues which topped $44 billion.
Knight retired as chairman of Nike in 2016 after 52 years, according to Forbes.
4. François Pinault – $47.6 billion
He is the founder and owner of Kering luxury group, which includes iconic fashion houses such as Gucci and Alexander McQueen.
The French businessman and art collector also owns a plethora of auction houses, wineries, and French publications. He’s the third-richest person in France after Bernard Arnault and Francoise Bettencourt Meyers.
5. Tadashi Yanai- $44.5 billion
Tadashi is the richest person in Japan and runs Fast Retailing, the parent company of Uniqlo (“unique clothing”), which is the largest clothing retailer in all Asia. In 1984, he opened the first Uniqlo store and today there are over 2,000 stores located in more than 20 countries.
He began his career at his father’s roadside tailor shop and more than 30 years later his company’s annual revenue exceeds $21.3 billion dollars.
6. Gerard & Alain Wertheimer- $32.3 billion
The Wertheimer brothers are the mysterious co-owners of Chanel, with Alain acting as the chairman of this legendary fashion house, while the Gerard is managing the Chanel’s watch department, based in Switzerland.
The Wertheimer brothers inherited the Chanel empire from their grandfather, Pierre Wertheimer, who founded the brand with Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1913. They each have a net worth of $32.3 billion and are known as “fashion’s quietest billionaires,” according to The New York Times.
7. Leonardo Del Vecchio- $24.6 billion
Italian vision billionaire is the chairman of eyewear giant Luxottica, the world’s largest producer and retailer of glasses and lenses. After founding Luxottica back in 1961, Del Vecchio went on to acquire Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban, Persol and Oakley. The Italian eyewear conglomerate employs over 70,000 people and has more than 8,000 stores opening their doors each day to new customers who need or love to wear glasses.
8. Stefan Persson- $20.2 billion
According to the Forbes Billionaire’s List for 2021, Carl Stefan Erling Persson is currently the 81st richest person in the world. The former chairman of the bestselling fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) is also Sweden’s richest person right now.
In May 2020, he stepped down as the chairman of H&M and handed over to his son Karl-Johan, to take the reigns of this fast-fashion business.
9. Anders Holch Povlsen- $11.9 billion
Anders Holch Povlsen is the CEO and sole owner of Danish fashion retailer, Bestseller. Povlsen’s parents started the company in 1975 and he was only 28 when his father, Troels Holch Povlsen, made him the sole owner of the company in 1990.
Bestseller is the parent company of 11 fashion labels that include Vero Moda, Only, and Jack & Jones.
10. Heinrich Otto Deichmann- $10.5 billion
Deichmann SE is currently the largest footwear retailer in Europe. The family-owned business was started with a cobbler’s shop in the outskirts of Essen, Germany, opened back in 1913 by Heinrich Deichmann, the grandfather of the current CEO, who managed to grow this company to a billion-dollar business.
Although Heinrich Otto Deichmann is extremely wealthy, he is also involved in various charitable works related to medical aid for Third World countries and programs meant to support the homeless.