Friday, 4 May 2012

Top 20 Richest Fashion Billionaires in 2012

From big box clothes retailers to high-end designers, fashion has made some people very, very wealthy.

Based off the Forbes’ latest billionaires list here are the 12 wealthiest people in fashion.

#1 Bernard Arnault

Net worth: $41 billion

Forbes billionaires rank: 4
Nationality: French

Background: Arnault, the chairman of luxury conglomerate LVMH, whose stable of brands includes fashion powerhouse Louis Vuitton. He also owns stakes in Bulgari, Hermes, and Carrefour.

In addition to being the fourth richest man in the world, he’s also the richest man in Europe.

#2 Amancio Ortega

Net worth: $37.5 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 5
Nationality: Spanish

Background: Ortega is the former chairman of Indetix, the firm that owns fashion retailers including Zara, Massimo Dutti and Stradivarius, and has 5,000 stores in 77 countries.

#3 Stefan Persson

Net worth:$26 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 8
Nationality: Swedish

Background: Persson is the chairman of cheap-chic retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), which is known for collaborating with A-list designers from Karl Lagerfeld to Jimmy Choo opened its first stores in Croatia, Singapore and Romania. It now has 2,500 shops in 43 countries. 

Persson, who is chairman, bought 5 million additional shares of the company and then gifted 4 million, worth $150 million, to a new employee ­incentive program. Persson's father, Erling, founded H&M in 1947; Stefan took over in 1982, he gave up the chief executive position in 1998; promoted son, Karl-Johan, 35, to chief executive in July 2009.

#4 Christy Walton & Family

Net worth: $25.3 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 11
Nationality: U.S.

Background: Walton is the heir to the Wal-Mart empire, and while the discount big box retailer is not exclusively in the fashion business, it makes a big enough chunk of change selling apparel that we included her in this list.

Apparel made up around 10% of Wal-Mart’s overall sales in 2010, or about $25.8 billion.

#5 Liliane Bettencourt

Net worth:$24 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 15
Nationality: French

Background: Fashion and beauty are inextricably intertwined, and L’Oreal heir Liliane Bettencourt owes her largess to the global cosmetics company founded by her father.

#6 Phil Knight

Net worth: $14.4 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 47
Nationality: U.S.

Background: Knight, the co-founder of Nike, started by selling running sneakers out of his car and eventually expanded into a footwear and athletic wear empire that did $19 billion in sales last year.

#7 Francois Pinault & Family

Net worth:$13 billion
Forbes billionaires list: 59
Nationality: French

Background: Pinault, a high school dropout, is the majority shareholder of luxury goods conglomerate PPR. Holdings include Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Puma.

He’s also the owner of auction house Christie’s, and husband of actress Salma Hayek.

#8 Leonardo Del Vecchio

Net worth: $11.5 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 74
Nationality: Italian

Background: Del Vecchio is the founder of Luxottica, the world’s largest manufacturer of sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses, as well as the world’s biggest eyewear retailer.

His company owns over 6,000 retail stores, including Sunglass Hut and LensCrafters.

#9 Tadashi Yanai

Net worth: $10 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 88
Nationality: Japanese

Background: Yanai is the founder and president of Fast Retailing, which counts the hugely popular apparel retailer Uniqlo among its subsidiaries.

#10 Galen Weston

Net worth: $7.6 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 121
Nationality: Canadian

Background: Weston’s retail empire isn’t strictly apparel, but it includes department store powerhouses such as Holt Renfrew in Canada, Brown Thomas in Ireland and Selfridges in the U.K.

He’s also reportedly interested in buying Barneys New York.

#11 Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren
Net worth: $7.5 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 122
Nationality: U.S

Background: Lauren sold $850 million worth of Polo Ralph Lauren shares, roughly a quarter of his stake, in a secondary offering in spring of 2010.
The company now sells clothing, shoes, jewelry, home goods, fragrances. His Polo gear will outfit American athletes in the 2012 London summer games.

#12 Alain & Gerard Wertheimer
Alain & Gerard Wertheimer
Net worth: $7.5 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 122
Nationality: French

Background: Alain and Gerard Wertheimer control luxury brand Chanel. The company was cofounded by their grandfather Pierre Wertheimer, who eventually bought out his early partner Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel, designer of the famous little black dress.

#13 Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani
Net worth: $7.2 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 127
Nationality: Italian

Background: Giorgio Armani recently signed a 10-year agreement with the Luxottica Group (owned by Italian billionaire Leonardo Del Vecchio) for the design and manufacture of his designer prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses. Armani owns about $775 million worth of Luxottica shares. The designer to the stars also markets perfume, baby clothes, home decor and expensive watches.

#14 Miuccia Prada
Miuccia Prada
Net worth: $6.8 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 139
Nationality: Italian

Background: Miuccia Prada, the granddaughter of company founder Mario Prada, runs the luxury goods and clothing company Prada with her husband Patrizio Bertelli. 

The company had its initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange in June 2011, valuing the fashion house at a recent $13 billion and helping Prada return to the Forbes list of billionaires for the first time since 2008.

#15 Johann Rupert
Johann Rupert & family
Net worth: $5.1 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 199
Nationality: South African

Background: Johann Rupert is South Africa's luxury goods billionaire. He serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Richemont, a publicly traded Swiss holding company that controls brands such as Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Alfred Dunhill, Montblanc and Chloé.

In 2010 Richemont acquired online fashion portal Net-a-Porter for $343 million.

#16 Isak Andic & Family
Isak Andic & family
Net worth: $ 4.8 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 221
Nationality: Spanish

Background: He opened his first apparel store in Barcelona in 1984.

Today his $1.6 billion (sales) retailer Mango gets more than 80% of sales outside of Spain and operates more than 2060 stores in 104 countries, from the Dutch Antilles to China.

 #17 Leslie Wexner
Leslie Wexner
Net worth: $4.3 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 248
Nationality: U.S

Background: Leslie Wexner has seen his fortune grow by $1.1 billion this year thanks to a 70% boost in the stock price of his Limited Brands chain of mall staples.

His retail empire continues its spread overseas as Lingerie giant Victoria's Secret is opening outlets in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia this year, and upscale sister brand La Senza just launched a Sydney, Australia flagship.

#18 Philip & Cristina Green
Philip & Cristina Green
Net worth: $4.2 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 255
Nationality: British

Background: A sluggish economy has dented the Greens' fortune, as profits at Arcadia Group-holding for clothing stores Top Shop and BHS, slipped 40% in 2011. Green closed 66 stores last year as Brits tightened their wallets.

#19 Heinz-Horst Deichmann
Heinz-Horst Deichmann
Net worth: $4.1 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 270
Nationality: German

Background: Heinz-Horst Deichmann owns the family-run company Deichmann-Schuhe GmbH, Europe's largest shoe retailer and the owner of the Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway chains in the U.S.

#20 Jin Sook & Do Won Chang
Jin Sook & Do Won Chang
Net worth: $4 billion
Forbes billionaires rank: 276
Nationality: U.S

Background: Founders of fast fashion retailer Forever 21, Do Won (Don) Chang and his wife Jin Sook immigrated to America from Korea in 1981. 
He and his wife opened their first clothing store in 1984; today $2.6 billion (sales) Forever 21 operates more than 480 stores. 

The firm has been criticized for copying designer clothes and sued more than 50 times by other retailers such as Anthropologie for copyright infringement.



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