Imagine that the your name was the epitome of luxury; that its very mention conjured up images of elegance and sophistication for millions around the world. Such is the life of those who have built and inherited luxury brand empires, from the Laurens to the Arnaults – these families are living ambassadors to the finest things in life.
Their progeny are also a product of this heritage. As scions of iconic businesses, some feel compelled to follow in the family company’s footsteps, whilst others seek to pursue their passions elsewhere. DDW explores who these young heirs are and what they chose to do with the rarified platform they have been given:
Heirs To The World’s Most Famous Fashion Brands
Andrew & David Lauren
Suave, charming and all-American debonaire, Andrew Lauren appears to be a physical embodiment of his father Ralph Lauren’s brand. A film producer with impressive credits under his belt including Noah Baumbach’s indie hit The Squid and the Whale, Andrew is a staple in both NYC society and LA studio-life. His company ‘Andrew Lauren Productions’ has made waves as a champion of great independent cinema worthy of marquee awards. He is said to share his father’s taste for luxury – recently purchasing a $21 M apartment in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Andrew’s younger brother, David Lauren, is tipped to take the helm of RL after their father. Currently holding the titles of ‘Chief Innovation Officer, Strategic Advisor to the CEO, Head of the Ralph Lauren Foundation and Vice Chairman of the Board’, he keeps himself busy with the Ralph Lauren empire. As if that wasn’t enough – he married President George H. W. Bush’s granddaughter Lauren (now Lauren Lauren) certifying their credentials as the most red-blooded American dynasty.
The Lauren brothers also have a younger sister, entrepreneur Dylan Lauren who owns New York City’s Dylan’s Candy Bar, which is said to be the “largest candy store in the world” and has over 21 locations across the country.
Niece to the fashion mogul Giorgio Armani, Roberta carries herself with cool refinement. As the head of Public Relations for the Italian luxury group she keeps close company of her uncle Giorgio and an oversight on all things Armani. An ex actress with an unrivalled contact book, boundless easy charm and killer business instincts she is a rumoured shoe-in for the title role of CEO after her uncle steps down.
Indeed, over the years she has been ever more pulled into pole position as a de facto ambassador and figurehead for the Armani name. Her reputation precedes her and many wonder if she will be one of first female chief executives to take the mantle of a major (if not THE major) Italian brand.
As founder, chief executive and chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy (LVMH), Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault is France’s wealthiest citizen. Among his many accolades is the fact that he single-handedly reshaped the world of luxury goods, taking crumbling historic brands and building them into multinational giants. If that wasn’t enough – he also made time to raise five incredibly accomplished children; Antoine Arnault (CEO of Berluti), Delphine Arnault (director and executive vice president of Louis Vuitton), Frédéric Arnault (CEO of TAG Heuer), Jean Arnault and Alexandre Arnault (CEO of Rimowa).
Despite his equally impressive siblings, Alexandre has made a name for himself as an innovator and rule breaker within the often too-slow-to-adapt luxury world. As CEO of Rimowa he has taken a historic 120 year-old luggage brand and revamped it for relevance within the 21st century through design and digital engagement. His strategy has worked wonders as the brand continues to beat international sales records and climb to new heights.
And when off of work, Alexandre seems to enjoy his role as one of the youngest Arnault children – often seen in the company of famous actresses, models and singers whilst his elder siblings shy away from the press. A debonaire with access to all of the world’s best brands, what more could you ask for?
The son of Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli (the couple built up Miuccia’s small family business into a global powerhouse), Lorenzo is the epitome of Italian cool. After gaining international notoriety as a professional rally driver, Lorenzo joined Prada, the family business. Primed to be a successor to the billion-dollar fortune and fashion conglomerate, he is said to have calmed his once-outlandish tastes in exchange for a tailored suit and a corner office as the Head of Marketing & Communications for the Prada Group.
Bertelli is determined to introduce his family business into the digital age, investing in an in-house startup incubator and new companies that are addressing everything from manufacturing and distribution to reusable materials. We can’t wait to see what his vision brings for Prada’s future.
James is the third generation of the famous leather-goods maker from Florence, Italy. As an heir to the fashion house, he started his working life on the shop floor of the Ferragamo boutiques – working his way up through the ranks.
Today, he is a thriving investment banker at Goldman Sachs and known for his sense of propriety, business acumen and Italian swagger. Grandfather Salvatore would indeed be proud.