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The 10 Richest Billionaires In Fashion

Jamila Gandhi
The 10 Richest Billionaires In Fashion

Fashion and retail have the second-highest population of billionaires with 230, or 11% of the Forbes total. Here are the 10 richest individuals and families who earned their wealth starting out in fashion, based on their 2019 net worth as listed by Forbes.

Bernard Arnault & family
Net worth: $76 billion
Source of wealth: LVMH

Bernard’s father made a small fortune in construction. He put up $15 million from that business to buy Christian Dior in 1985. Today, Arnault oversees an empire of 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.

Amancio Ortega
Net worth: $62.7 billion
Source of wealth: Zara

Ortega cofounded Inditex, known for the Zara fashion chain, with his ex-wife Rosalia Mera in 1975. Currently, he owns about 60% of Madrid-listed Inditex, which has eight brands, including Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear.

Phil Knight & family
Net worth: $33.4 billion
Source of wealth: Nike

Before co-founding Nike, Knight sold Japanese running shoes from the trunk of his car. After 52 years at the company, he retired as chairman in June 2016.

Francois Pinault & family
Net worth: $29.7 billion
Source of wealth: Kering

In 1999, Pinault changed the direction of Kering, his building materials company to luxury goods when he bought a controlling stake in the Gucci Group. He acts as the honorary chairman of Kering today, which owns fashion brands Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, and Gucci.

Tadashi Yanai & family
Net worth: $22.2 billion
Source of wealth: Fast retailing

Japan’s richest man runs clothing empire, Fast Retailing, parent of J Brand, Theory and the Uniqlo chain. He and his family own a 44% stake.

Leonardo Del Vecchio
Net worth: $19.8 billion
Source of wealth: Luxottica

Vision visionary Del Vecchio founded eyewear giant Luxottica in 1961, at the age of 25. Over the years, the firm acquired Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban, Oakley and made glasses for brands including Bulgari and Chanel. Stefan Persson Net worth: $15.6 billion Source of wealth: H&M— Hennes & Mauritz H&M was founded by Persson’s father Erling in 1947. Today, Persson is Sweden’s richest person, owning a 32% stake of the global fast-fashion retailer and serving as chairman. The company is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

Alain & Gerard Wertheimer
Net worth: $14.6 billion each
Source of wealth: Chanel 

Alain and Gerard own Chanel, a business founded by their grandfather Pierre Wertheimer and the company’s namesake, Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel in the 1920s. Alain serves as chairman, while Gerard oversees the watch division.

Giorgio Armani
Net worth: $8.5 billion
Source of wealth: Giorgio Armani

Fashion legend Armani launched his own eponymous label in the mid-1970s after working previously as a buyer and window dresser. He has since expanded beyond clothing into accessories, perfumes, makeup, and sportswear.

Ralph Lauren
Net worth: $6.9 billion
Source of wealth: Ralph Lauren

American fashion icon Lauren started his business in 1967 in a tiny office at the Empire State building. Today, he controls 82% of the voting rights and serves as the executive chairman and chief creative officer of Ralph Lauren.

Jamila is a wealth reporter at Forbes Middle East Magazine, where her work includes billionaires’ philanthropy, influence and leadership insights.

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