Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, commonly known as LVMH, is the world’s biggest and most diversified luxury goods conglomerate with leading positions in multiple sectors, including fashion, leather goods, jewellery, fragrance, watches and beauty. The family-run group valued at €64,2bn, as per its official website, was formed on January 1, 1987 through the merger of maison Louis Vuitton with Moët Hennessy. LVMH strives to ensure the long-term development of each of its seventy-five distinguished Houses rooted in six different sectors in keeping with their identity, their heritage and their expertise. Some of its powerhouse luxury fashion brands include Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Kenzo, Bulgari, Tiffany, Berluti and Emilio Pucci. Per BoF, “Sheer scale, diversification and the exceptional resilience of its leather goods megabrand Louis Vuitton allow the group to consistently generate strong revenue and profit growth, giving the group a less cyclical profile, adding to its overall strength and valuation multiple.”
In the late Eighties, French investor Bernard Arnault envisioned creating a group of luxury brands. Determined to make his vision a reality, he worked with Alain Chevalier, CEO of Moët Hennessy, and Henry Racamier, President of Louis Vuitton, to form LVMH on 1 January 1987. Headquartered in Paris, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE engages in the manufacture of luxury goods and operates through the following business segments: Wines and Spirits, Fashion and Leather Goods, Perfumes and Cosmetics, Watches and Jewelry, Selective Retailing, Other Activities and Eliminations. The successful integration of powerful brands into a single group proved to be an inspiration for other luxury companies to follow the same business model. Reflecting on his unique business model, Bernard Arnault told CNBC, “In the 90s, I had the idea of a luxury group and at the time I was very much criticised for it. I remember people telling me it doesn’t make sense to put together so many brands. And it was a success … And for the last 10 years now, every competitor is trying to imitate, which is very rewarding for us…”
The luxury conglomerate has a fascinating and exhaustive history of acquisitions but here are a few related to fashion and beauty:
1987: Louis Vuitton
1997: Marc Jacobs
1999: Thomas Pink
1999: Tag Heuer
1999: Gucci Group
2000: Emilio Pucci
2001: La Samaritaine
2013: Loro Piana
2013: Nicholas Kirkwood
2013: J.W. Anderson
2017: Christian Dior
2018: Jean Patou
2019: Stella McCartney
2020: Tiffany & Co.
2021: Phoebe Philo
2021: Officine Universelle Buly 1803
Every year LVMH hands out their prestigious prize to a brilliant young designer and there have also been several occasions when the conglomerate appointed a young designer with a fresh, creative aesthetic to take over the helms of a conservative fashion house. For example, Jonathan Anderson for Loewe and Kim Jones/Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton. The luxury conglomerate is also acclaimed for a number of sustainability initiatives to help combat climate change, including “LVMH Initiatives For the Environment” in 2016 and its announcement to contribute $11 Million to Combat Amazon Wildfires.
As of late 2020, LVMH has the largest market capitalization in France and in the Eurozone with a reported record of 261 billion euros. Per Robb Report, “While LVMH shares (and profits) dropped significantly in the first half of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, by early November they had bounced back and finished the year with a gain of almost 24 percent at $617 (€510). In fact, LVMH’s share price has actually increased nearly 43 percent since this time last year.” In January 2022, LVMH acquired a minority stake in the New York-based label Aimé Leon Dore. The world’s leading luxury products group, with seventy-five prestigious brands today, announced on its website 64.2 billion euros revenue in 2021 and a retail network of over 5,500 stores worldwide. In March 2022, LVMH announced closure of its 120+ stores in Russia, “given the current circumstances in the region”.
According to the conglomerate: “Our model, which is based on a long-term vision, values the heritage of our Houses and stimulates creativity and excellence. It is the driving force for the Group’s success and the guarantee of its future,” per Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
To ensure the development of each of its Houses while respecting their identities and their autonomy, providing the resources needed to create, produce and market their products and services through carefully selected channels.