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LVMH Has a Younger Arnault Working on Its Makeover of Tiffany’s

The storied jeweler was the luxury conglomerate’s biggest-ever acquisition. Bringing the brand into the future falls to Bernard Arnault’s 30-year-old son and potential heir, Alexandre.

Alexandre Arnault, the LVMH scion who now oversees product and communications at Tiffany.

Alexandre Arnault, the LVMH scion who now oversees product and communications at Tiffany.

Photographer: Carlotta Cardana/Bloomberg

Ever since he transformed Louis Vuitton from a venerable maker of steamer trunks into a handbag juggernaut more than 30 years ago, Bernard Arnault has pursued a simple yet lucrative strategy: buy respected but slightly fusty brands; freshen up their management, marketing, and operations; and weave them into the ever-expanding luxury tapestry known today as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE.

Over the years the targets got bigger, and Arnault became Europe’s wealthiest individual. From Christian Dior to Fendi to Bulgari, price tags kept rising, as shiny new luxe toys became scarcer. Last year, Arnault made his biggest bet yet with a $16 billion takeover of Tiffany & Co., shoring up LVMH’s position in fine jewelry and reinforcing its presence in the US. But revitalizing the brand immortalized by its robin-egg-blue packaging and 1960s icon Audrey Hepburn for today’s more worldly view of luxury will be no small task—especially with a notoriously hands-on owner back in Paris known to keep close watch over the 75 brands in his empire.