Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mr. LVMH, Bernard Arnault, Drops A Few Gems In An Interview Over @ WSJ.

"The Big Interview
March 5, 2009

Being Bernard Arnault

How do you predict global good taste in a time of economic downturn? LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault is quietly confident. Plus, a guide to Arnault’s holdings

On the day the house of Dior is presenting its pre-collection of women’s clothing and accessories for the fall 2009 season in Paris, Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man and arguably the most influential tastemaker in the world of luxury, is—in what his wife describes as a recurring phenomenon—“obsessing.”

“I just don’t like it. I don’t like it at all,” Arnault mutters as he examines a red-rimmed cotton canvas bag. The shelves of Dior’s sunlit showroom are neatly stacked with dozens of purses, totes and clutches in leather, shearling and python. To one side sit $1,900 serpent-shaped crystal-encrusted sandals with 6-inch-heels and shiny patent-leather ballerinas. Yet Arnault is fixated on this one $750 tote. He tugs disapprovingly on a round plastic pendant on the bag’s handle. “Can this be taken off?” he asks the cluster of Dior executives standing behind him. He takes the bag off its perch and continues: “The black and gray versions of the bag are already bordering on the commercial, but the red goes too far…it’s just not Dior.”

As chairman and majority owner of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, which includes high-end brands Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Tag Heuer watches, Donna Karan, Fendi and Moët & Chandon champagne, and of Dior and other companies, Bernard Arnault is required on a daily basis to balance the business needs of his sprawling empire with the exquisite good taste those brands must convey. What Arnault thinks matters globally. His is a $22 billion company in a $200 billion business. “They say God is in the detail,” says Sidney Toledano, CEO of Dior and a longtime Arnault buddy. “Here, the boss is in the detail.”

Read The Full Story Here: Magazine.WSJ.Com

CHRIS LIVE AKA SHAKER SAYS: I draw my inspiration from a very deep and eclectic well of well bred interests and people whom represent excellence and appeal to my better and more industrious angels. Fellow Piscean and the richest man in France, Bernard Arnault, is 1 such inspirational figure in my life. As the head of LVMH he owns and actively operates some of the world's most readily identifiable and respected luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Moët, Hennessy, Fendi and Christian Dior ... and that's only a sample of his portfolio.

WSJ recently published a great feature on this brand baron and the daily demands that he faces selling a high end lifestyle in an increasingly recessionary global market. If Y.O.U. fancy yourself a cosmopolitan hustler, then this is must read indeed. If nothing else, Y.O.U. might just want to find out a little about a man whose companies get so much of our money ... lol. Remember: The real "baller" is not the guy who buys out the bar, but, rather, the man who owns the bar. Let's get it!

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