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Alain Wertheimer

Alain Wertheimer is a French businessman and the co-owner of the majority stake in the House of Chanel who has an estimated net worth of $11.6 billion as of January 2016, according to Bloomberg. Together with his brother Gerard, they manage the company founded by their grandfather, Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel.

Background

  • Alain Wertheimer was born to a Jewish family of Jacques Wertheimer and Eliane Fischer.

    His grandfather, Pierre Wertheimer, co-founded the House of Chanel. The privately held company is managed by Alain who has presided over the acquisition of several non-Chanel brands, including Eres Lingerie and beachwear, Tanner Krolle saddles and leather goods, and Holland & Holland, a British gunmaker.

    Based in France, the Wertheimer brothers own French vineyards including Château Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux, France, and Château Canon in Saint-Emilion, both of which have won rave reviews from oenophiles.

    Both brothers are enthusiastic equestrians who also inherited and operate an important Thoroughbred horse racing stable they call La Presle Farm or Wertheimer farm for racing in the United States and is known as Wertheimer et Frère partnership in France.

    His net worth is over $9 billion as of 2014.

    Today Alain, the elder of his grandsons, is the chairman of the company and resides in New York.

  • Career

    • Born in France, Alain and Gerard Wertheimer inherited the luxury brand company Chanel, which was co-founded by their grandfather Pierre.Pierre Wertheimer (January 8, 1888 – April 24, 1965) was a French businessman.In October 1910, Pierre Wertheimer married Germaine Revel, a daughter of a stockbroker and a member of the Lazard family of INVESTMENT bankers.In 1924, Pierre Wertheimer and his brother Paul became Coco Chanel's partners in the House of Chanel perfume business

      Alain, the son of Jacques Wertheimer, took control of Chanel in 1974. It is when he started earning and gained an estimated net worth of $13 billion recently. When No. 5 de Chanel became a passé in fashion and perfume, he revamped the sales of the line by reducing the number of outlets from 18,000 to 12,000. He removed the perfume from drugstore shelves. He also INVESTED millions of dollars in the advertisements for the brand’s cosmetics by using famous people such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Tautou as endorsers. Such move he made resulted to an ensured greater sense of scarcity and exclusivity for the fragrance line. Sales one again increased with the increase in the demand of the perfume.

      Today Alain, the elder of his grandsons, is the chairman of the company and resides in New York.

      Alain has presided over the acquisition of several non-Chanel brands, including Eres Lingerie and beachwear, Tanner Krolle saddles and leather goods, and Holland & Holland, a British gunsmith.

      Based in France, the Wertheimer brothers own French vineyards like Rauzan-Segla in Margaux, France and Chateau Canon in Saint-Emilion, both of which have won rave reviews from oenophiles.

      Both brothers are enthusiastic equestrians who also inherited and operate an important Thoroughbred horse racing stable they call La Presle Farm or Wertheimer farm for racing in the United States and is known as Wertheimer et Frère partnership in France.

      Going into the 1990s, in fact, Chanel was considered a global leader in the fragrance industry and a top innovator in fragrance advertising and marketing. Chanel continued to spend more on advertising than almost any other perfume company and, as a result, was reaping the fattest profit margins in the industry. In addition, the company had continued to expand into new product lines, including Chanel watches retailing for as much as $7,000; additions to its popular shoe line; and other high-priced clothes, cosmetics, and accessories.

      The Wertheimers would have been wealthy without their Chanel business. However, Chanel's success in the 1980s was credited with boosting the Wertheimer family's wealth to a new level, and by the late 1990s the Wertheimer family's fortune was estimated to top $5 billion.

      Alain Wertheimer moved his offices to New York in the late 1980s, reflecting Chanel's emphasis on the U.S. market. Although sales of high-end goods were hurt by the global recession of the early 1990s, demand began recovering in the mid-1990s and Chanel continued to expand its boutique chain and product line.

      Wertheimer remained chairman of the company while Françoise Montenay, the company's CEO and president, was charged with bringing it into the next century. In the 1990s Chanel began expanding its holdings, acquiring Lemarié, one of the most renowned feather and flower crafts houses for the Parisian fashion industry. The company continued in this trend with the acquisition of milliner A. Michel et Cie. and embroidery house Lesage. Chanel was rumored to be interested in acquiring another famed SUPPLIER to the haute couture set, boot- and shoemaker Massaro.

      In 1996, Chanel acquired exclusive gun maker Holland & Holland. The company's attempt to extend that BRAND NAME to a wider range of fashions met with a lukewarm reception, forcing Chanel to scale back and realign Holland & Holland to its original concept. A more promising acquisition came in 1997, when Chanel bought high-end swimsuit maker Eres. In 2001, the company acquired a stake in up-and-coming watchmaker Bell & Ross.

      Chanel continued to expand its retail holdings at the beginning of the century. In 2001 the company's U.S. subsidiary launched a new retail concept, featuring only accessories bearing the Chanel name. In July 2002 the company rolled out a new jewelry and watch flagship store on New York's Madison Avenue, and expected to build up these sales with the expansion of its network of independent retailers. Shortly after, the company opened a new, 1,500-square-foot handbag and shoe flagship store next door to its jewelry and watch store in New York, bringing the total number of Chanel stores in the United States to 25.

      The company also targeted the Far East, opening a new 2,400-square-foot boutique in Hong Kong, and paying nearly $50 million to acquire a building in Japan's Ginza shopping district. After 80 years, the Chanel name continued to attract customers from around the world.

    Major achievements

    • achievement1245974 1974 - Alain became the co-owner of the House of Chanel along with his brother Gerard.

      1980s - he decided to penetrate the US market.

      1990s - the expansion due to new product lines (watches, shoes, accessories).

      1996 - the takeover of gunmaker Holland & Holland.

      1997 - the purchase of Eres Lingerie and beachwear.

      2001 - the aquisition of watchmaker Bell & Ross.

      2001- now - the US branch developed its distributional channels, launched new product lines; wanted to penetrate into the Far East



    Religion

    Denomination: Judaism

    Personality

    Very little is known about Chanel’s owners, who will only speak to the press to further their wine and equestrian interests, but according to The New York Times they live “like Old World aristocrats,” indulging their passions for horse racing, shooting, fine wines and art collecting. They own vineyards in Margaux and Saint-Emillon; horses that have won the French Derby, the Breeders’ Cup and Royal Ascot, and an art collection that includes pieces by Picasso and Matisse.

    Born in a rich family, he is known to lead a lavish life.

    The Wertheimers have an impressive art collection -- Picasso, Matisse, Rousseau and many fine Asian pieces -- that graces their eight homes as well as the company's executive offices on 57th Street, yet they never allow any of the works to be loaned or photographed. Alain, slim, bearded, the more cynical of the two brothers, lives with his wife, Brigitte, and their three children in a grand apartment on Fifth Avenue, has a country home in Connecticut and is steeped in money -- Forbes estimates the family's combined wealth to be $5 billion -- but he doesn't hesitate to use his Metrocard to get around Manhattan. Similarly, he and Brigitte shun the charity ball and Park Avenue dinner circuit.

    Connections

    Alain Wertheimer
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    Born 1949
    (age 68)
    Nationality
    Ethnicity:
    • 1974 - present
      chairman, the House of Chanel
      France Paris

    Contributor  

    Marina Volchok

    last changed 16/01/2016 view changes
    • Activities
      • a chairman of Eres Lingerie and beachwear
      • Tanner Krolle saddles and leather goods
      • and Holland & Holland
      • a co-owner of two French vineyards, one in Margaux called Rauzan-Segla and Chateau Canon in Saint-Emilion.
      • France
      • a chairman of the board of the House of Chanel
      • and Château Canon in Saint-Emilion
      • a co-owner of own French vineyards including Château Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux
    • Activities
      • France
      • a co-owner of own French vineyards including Château Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux
      • and Château Canon in Saint-Emilion
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