Chairman and CEO of the world’s largest luxury goods company LVMH, Bernard Arnault, has become the first person to be worth over $100 billion who isn’t a tech mogul.
Dubbed a centibillionaire (an individual worth in excess of $100 billion), Arnault is joining what has been described as ‘the world’s most exclusive club’, boasting just 3 members. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and Bill Gates, long-time tech entrepreneur and Microsoft founder, are the only other individuals to match the luxury goods tycoon in wealth.
So how did Arnault amass such a fortune?
As the Chairman and CEO of LVMH, the French luxury goods conglomerate that owns Louis Vuitton and other luxury brands, Arnault certainly commands a lot of respect and power within the luxury fashion industry. But what people may not know is that Arnault bought lux brand Christian Dior back in 1985, owning a 97% stake in the business. And Dior is the main holding company of LVMH, owning 40.9% of its shares. Translation – Arnault owns and controls a large amount of the luxury industry. Therefore, is it really all that surprising that the guy has billions upon billions in the bank?
While there may not be a bag in existence with a price tag to match Arnault’s fortune (yet), some of LVMH’s brands boast bags that could at least make a dent in the luxury titan’s fortune.
If you’re looking to join Arnault in the centibillionaire’s club anytime soon, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered! Louis Vuitton is the epitome of class and luxury. LVMH was created when the fashion company merged with luxury drinks producers Moët & Chandon and Hennessy in 1971. Therefore, we thought it only fitting that we made a list of the most expensive LV bags ever made. Since Arnault could afford to buy all of these treasures hundreds of thousands times over, it should give you an idea of how much $100 billion really is. We’re about to take you on a voyage of high class fashion, enjoy!
LV Patchwork Tribute Bag - $42,000
This bag from Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2008 collection sold out in minutes. Described as the ‘Frankenstein of the handbag world’, the bag is made out of a patchwork from 24 different designs of other LV handbags released in the same year. Testament to its name, the handbag is seen as a tribute to the designers at Louis Vuitton. Only 24 were ever made, making the bag extremely rare and therefore all the more exclusive. It’s no surprise that Queen Bey was able to get a hold of one.
Louis Vuitton Crocodile Lady Bag PM - $54,500
Designed by Nicolas Ghesquiere for autumn/winter 2014, his first collection for the brand, at the time the bag was a never-before-seen shape. The design features two finishes of croc leather and measures slightly over a foot wide at its largest point.
Louis Vuitton New Age Traveller Backpack - $54,500
In the spirit of exploring exotic places, this backpack features exotic skins including crocodile and snakeskin in addition to two furry fox tail charms. While it may not be in the budget of your typical backpacker, it would certainly look chic anywhere from an African safari to the top of Mount Everest.
Alligator skin City Steamer - $55,500
Pitted to rival exotic Birkins, this luxurious bag is made from genuine alligator skin and even comes with a name tag! While not as pricey as its Hermès counterparts (which go for over $100,000 in similar leathers), this elegant bag has certainly proved popular and swanky.
Coquille d’Oeuf Minaudiere Couture Bag - $101,000
Resembling a pebble, this LV clutch is made from 12,500 small pieces of eggshell which took experts over 600 hours to combine to form a beautiful mosaic. Released as part of the brand’s spring/summer 2012 collection, the bag has been described as a small piece of art.
Kusama Pumpkin Jewel Bag - $133,000
This bag is one of the most exclusive on our list. Designed by the famous Japanese designer Yayoi Kusama, only five were ever made. The design displays Kusama’s famous polka dot pattern and is made from real gold! The pieces made were sold in Selfridges London.
Urban Satchel - $150,000
This one may shock you. Louis Vuitton’s Urban Satchel, released as part of the brand’s autumn/winter 2008 collection, was the brainwork of LV’s Chief Designer at the time, John Galliano. He was inspired by the homeless of Paris and the streets of San Francisco. The bag is made of the finest quality Italian leather but has pieces of trash sewn on top – avant-garde we know! Unsurprisingly the bag received heaps of media attention, some praising its unique design and others wondering what on earth was going on. Owners include Victoria Beckham and even Editor-in-Chief of US Vogue, Anna Wintour!
What was your favourite bag from this list?
Which design shocked you the most?
Would you splurge on any of these pieces if you could?
Let us know.