Aside from his relationship with the gorgeous Natalia Vodianova, we know relatively little about the young Antoine Arnault aka scion of LVMH – the French multinational luxury conglomerate which runs Givenchy, Marc Jacobs and Dior amongst many others and is headed up by Antoine's father Bernard. Arnault Snr was named the richest person in Europe and the 4th richest person in the world by Forbes this year with an estimated net worth of an eye-watering US$41.
So we were more than interested to hear more about what the 35 year old had to say for himself in an interview with the Observer this weekend. Firstly we hear that Antoine is a stickler for customer service saying, “If I see one of my sales assistants neglecting someone, they are fired immediately.” As to what he has learnt from his father Antoine tells us it’s all about communication and stopping designers from forgetting the bottom line, “I’m sorry, but designers are not artists,” he says, “They may have the talent of one, but if they want to work that way they should paint or sculpt. Here they’re working in business and they need a brief. That’s what my father does so well.”
We also get an insight into the fashion scandal of the century – Galliano-gate – which Anault Jnr suggests happened because the breakdown of communication. “You know towards the end, my father couldn’t talk to John Galliano at all, it was impossible – he wouldn’t listen to anything. At this point it crashes.” Of course the fact that Mr Galliano was publically charged with racist offences may also have been a contributing factor in the termination of his contract, but it’s interesting to see the young Arnault’s take on the inner mechanics of the designer/CEO relationship.
So what’s up next for Antoine? Aside from re-launching the heritage men’s brand Berluti, Arnault says ”I work hard and, yes, my father trusts me more and more and we’re more involved in business decisions…It’s a great life and a great job.” You don’t need to persuade us Antoine!