French fashion tycoon Bernard Arnault becomes the world’s richest person this week.
He has an estimated net worth of $186.3 billion putting him $300 million above Jeff Bezos.
Bezos is worth $186 billion and Elon Musk is worth $147.3 billion.
Arnault’s fortune has jumped from $76 billion in March 2020 to $186.3 billion this week.
He got a massive rise of over $110 billion in the past 14 months, thanks to a pandemic-defying performance by his luxury group LVMH.
LVMH, which also owns household names like Fendi, Christian Dior and Givenchy, rose 0.4% during the first hours of trading on Monday.
This put its market cap at $320 billion and pushing Arnault’s personal stake up by more than $600 million.
Bernard Arnault on top
LVMH and Arnault represent the remarkable rise of Europe’s luxury and fashion houses during the lockdown.
Pushed by the “momentum” of shoppers in China, according to Jefferies analyst Flavio Cereda, LVMH recorded revenue of $17 billion.
This was accumulated in the first quarter of 2021, up 32% compared to the same period in 2020.
Over the years, the very top of Forbes’ billionaires list has been largely dominated by Americans.
The number one spot has been occupied by U.S. citizens Bezos, Musk, Gates and Buffett for the best part of two decades.
Mexico’s Carlos Slim was the only one disrupting their dominance for any notable period of time.