The 15 richest people in the fashion industry, ranked

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Fashion is a $2.5 trillion global industry that has made its leading players, from designers and CEOs to founders and heiresses, very rich.

Business Insider has compiled a list of the richest people in the fashion industry, based on Forbes’ Real Time Billionaires ranking – and the top 15 are worth a combined $395.6 billion.

The wealthiest person in fashion is Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH, the world’s largest maker of luxury goods that’s behind brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dom Perignon, Christian Dior, and as of November 2019, Tiffany & Co. Arnault is the world’s third-richest person with an estimated net worth of $105.7 billion.

 

Others on the list include Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, the Japanese billionaire behind Uniqlo, and the Spanish retail mogul who owns Zara.

Read on for the 15 richest people in the fashion industry, ranked in ascending order.

Bobbie Edsor contributed to an earlier version of this story.

15. Ding Shizhong: $5.8 billion

 

15. Ding Shizhong: $5.8 billion

Ding Shizhong is the chairman and CEO of Anta Sports, one of China’s largest sportswear makers.

 

Anta Sports, which owns brands including Fila, Descente, and Kingkow, made more than $3.4 billion in revenue in 2018.

14. Johann Rupert: $6.1 billion

 

14. Johann Rupert: $6.1 billion

Johann Rupert is the chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods firm behind brands such as Cartier, Chloé, and Montblanc.

 

The South African billionaire founded Richemont as a spin-off of Rembrandt Group Limited (now Remgro Limited), a company founded by his father in the 1940s.

13. Sandra Ortega Mera: $6.6 billion

 

13. Sandra Ortega Mera: $6.6 billion

Sandra Ortega Mera is the daughter of Zara founder Amancio Ortega with his late ex-wife, Rosalia Mera.

 

Sandra inherited the title of Spain’s richest woman after her mother’s death. Sandra holds a roughly 4.5% stake in her father’s company, Inditex, but she is not involved in the company, according to Forbes.

 

12. Ralph Lauren: $6.7 billion

 

12. Ralph Lauren: $6.7 billion

The founder and former CEO of the eponymous American luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren remains executive chairman of the label he started in the 1960s.

 

Lauren started designing neckties with a wider cut — branding them the “Polo” cut — and selling them in New York department stores while also working at the men’s boutique Beau Brummell.

 

More than 50 years later, the internationally renowned brand brought in more than $6.1 billion in revenue in 2018.

11. Anders Holch Povlsen: $8.1 billion

 

11. Anders Holch Povlsen: $8.1 billion

Anders Holch Povlsen is the CEO and sole owner of Danish fashion retailer Bestseller. Povlsen’s parents started the company in 1975 and he was only 28 when his father, Troels Holch Povlsen, made him the sole owner of the company in 1990.

 

Bestseller is the parent company of 11 fashion labels that include Vero Moda, Only, and Jack & Jones.

 

Povlsen, who is the richest person in Denmark, also has “significant stakes” in online clothing retailer ASOS and payments company Klarna, according to Forbes.

 

In April 2019, three of Povlsen’s four children were killed in the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that left at least 290 people dead.

10. Giorgio Armani: $11 billion

 

10. Giorgio Armani: $11 billion

The cofounder and sole owner of the Armani empire, Giorgio Armani’s luxury fashion house has ventures in haute couture, sportswear, beauty, restaurants, interior design, hotels and resorts, and ready-to-wear fashion, among others.

 

The Italian-born fashion designer founded his company in 1975 after leaving medical school early. Now, Armani is often dubbed one of the most successful Italian fashion designers in history, with revenue of $2.3 billion in 2018, according to Bloomberg.

 

Armani owns a 213-foot jet-black superyacht and has homes in Italy and the Caribbean.

 

9. Heinrich Deichmann: $11.5 billion

 

9. Heinrich Deichmann: $11.5 billion

Heinrich Deichmann is the CEO of international shoe manufacturer Deichmann, founded by his grandfather as a cobbler’s shop in Germany in 1913.

 

Deichmann’s reputation for creating affordable footwear is ingrained in its history. The family company organized a second-hand shoe exchange scheme in order to help struggling customers after the war, according to the company’s website.

 

Today, Deichmann has grown to become one of Europe’s leading shoe retailers, with 3,989 stores in Germany, the US, and throughout Europe.

8. Alain and Gerard Wertheimer: $16.6 billion

 

8. Alain and Gerard Wertheimer: $16.6 billion

Alain Wertheimer co-owns the French fashion house Chanel with his brother, Gerard. Alain serves as Chanel’s chairman while Gerard manages the company’s watch department in Switzerland.

 

The Wertheimer brothers inherited the Chanel empire from their grandfather, Pierre Wertheimer, who founded the brand with Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1913.

 

The Wertheimers are known as “fashion’s quietest billionaires,” according to The New York Times.

 

”We’re a very discreet family, we never talk,” Gérard Wertheimer told The New York Times Magazine in 2002.”It’s about Coco Chanel. It’s about Karl [Lagerfeld]. It’s about everyone who works and creates at Chanel. It’s not about the Wertheimers.”

7. Stefan Persson: $18.8 billion

 

7. Stefan Persson: $18.8 billion

Chairman of best-selling fashion retailer H&M, Stefan Persson owns a 32% stake in the company. His son, Karl-Johan Persson, is the company’s CEO.

 

H&M Group, which also owns brands like Weekday, COS, and Monki, brought in more than $22 billion in net sales in 2018, according to the company’s annual report.

 

The Swedish fast-fashion business has about 4,900 stores in 73 markets.

 

6. Leonardo Del Vecchio: $24.7 billion

 

6. Leonardo Del Vecchio: $24.7 billion

Leonardo Del Vecchio is the founder of eyewear giant Luxottica, which went on to acquire Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban and Oakley and make glasses for brands including Chanel and Bulgari, according to Forbes.

 

Luxottica merged with French lens maker Essilor in 2018 to become the world’s largest producer and retailer of sunglasses and prescription glasses.

5. Tadashi Yanai: $29.8 billion

 

5. Tadashi Yanai: $29.8 billion

Tadashi Yanai is the founder and owner of Japanese clothing empire Fast Retailing, the largest clothing retailer in Asia and the parent company of Uniqlo.

 

Yanai, the richest person in Japan, began his career at his father’s roadside tailor shop in suburban Japan, according to Bloomberg. Yanai later changed the name of the company to Fast Retailing in the early 1990s in order to reflect his fast-fashion business strategy.

 

Yanai opened the first Uniqlo store in 1984 and has expanded the brand to more than 2,000 stores in at least 20 countries.

 

Fast Retailing has thousands of stores worldwide and reported a yearly revenue of $16.9 billion in August 2017, according to Bloomberg.

4. Francois Pinault: $35.1 billion

 

4. Francois Pinault: $35.1 billion

François Pinault is the founder and owner of Kering luxury group, which includes iconic fashion houses such as Gucci and Alexander McQueen. He’s been married to Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek since 2009.

 

The French businessman and art collector also owns a plethora of auction houses, wineries, and French publications. He’s the second-richest person in France after Bernard Arnault.

 

Since the beginning of 2019, Pinault’s wealth has increased by more than $9 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

 

3. Phil Knight: $38.5 billion

 

3. Phil Knight: $38.5 billion

Phil Knight is the founder of shoe giant Nike. Knight, a former track runner, started the company that would become Nike with his college track coach, Bill Bowerman, in 1964.

 

Knight retired as chairman of Nike in 2016 after 52 years, according to Forbes.

2. Amancio Ortega: $70.7 billion

 

2. Amancio Ortega: $70.7 billion

Amancio Ortega is the sixth-richest person in the world, according to both Forbes and Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. Ortega made his $70.7 billion fortune through the Spanish fashion retail group Inditex, which he founded with his ex-wife Rosalia Mera in 1975.

 

Ortega owns 59% of Inditex, the world’s largest clothing retailer that owns Zara, Pull&Bear, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, and other brands.

1. Bernard Arnault: $105.6 billion

 

1. Bernard Arnault: $105.6 billion

Bernard Arnault is the chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company. The French billionaire is the third-richest person in the world, trailing only Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

 

LVMH is the parent company of 75 household names, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Sephora, and Bulgari, and, as of November 2019, jewelry giant Tiffany & Co.

 

Arnault is growing richer at a faster rate than many other billionaires. Since the beginning of 2019, his fortune has risen by $34.3 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

[“source=businessinsider”]

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