by Tribbie Nassikas
Bernard Arnault, founder, chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy
Aristocratic power of the French nobility from the late sixteenth to eighteenth centuries reveals the emergence of an essentially modern culture, one that has maintained a consciousness of the responsibility to give back to the community. This notion of benevolent acts of stewardship by those of a privileged social standing is known as nobles oblige, and is continued to be carried out today, evident in powerful individuals like Bernard Arnault, founder, chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH), and François Pinault, owner of Gucci Group.
François Pinault, owner of Gucci Group
As two figures literally at the head of the fashion industry, each at the control of two of the world’s leading multi-brand luxury companies, Arnault and Pinault naturally can be typified as leaders solely concerned with dominating the luxury goods market. However, Arnault and Pinault are not just single-mindedly so, but rather, serious patrons of the arts and social solidarity, revealing the benevolence of fashion which is commonly overlooked. Therefore, Arnault and Pinault become two figures that represent the noblesse oblige of European fashion power.