The French businessman has been married to his pianist wife since 1991
Bernard Arnault has been married to Hélène Mercier for over three decades.
The billionaire founder of LVMH and the pianist first met at a dinner party in 1989, and wed in 1991.
“I always liked being number one,” he told the Financial Times of his business success in 2019. “I did not succeed at the piano, I did not succeed at tennis. I consider that success is to arrive at a point where all my teams, the group is the number one in the world.”
Although he may not have “succeeded” in becoming a professional pianist, it was his piano skills that wooed his wife. According to the Financial Times, Arnault is a concert-level piano player and showed off his musical skills during one of his earlier dates with Mercier. He is said to have played Chopin, along with music from other classical composers.
“His hands were trembling, he was dying of fear, but he was determined to get to the end," Mercier told the Wall Street Journal in 2009.
Here’s everything to know about Bernard Arnault's wife, Hélène Mercier.
She’s a pianist
Montreal native Mercier is a successful pianist and she began her music career at age 6, studying at the Vincent d’Indy School of Music. As a child, she won first honors at the Quebec and Canadian Music Competitions, and also came out on top at the Prague International Chamber Music Competition. As a teenager, she furthered her musical studies at the Julliard School of Music, where she studied with Sascha Gorodnitzki.
Throughout her career, she has played alongside many renowned musicians. According to her Chandos biography, these include Vladimir Spivakov, Mstislav Rostropovich and Brigitte Engerer.
She has shared her love of music with her children, and, while they never pursued it as a career, Mercier’s kids felt supported no matter their career paths.
“She always told us if we wanted to become musicians she would support us,” explained son Alexandre Arnault in a 2018 interview with The New York Times. I’ll never know if my dad would have been happy with it. But he loves the piano.”
She and Arnault have three children together
Mercier and Arnault share three children — sons Alexandre, Frédéric and Jean.
Alexandre was born in 1992, and in 2021, he became the EVP of product and communications at Tiffany & Co. In October 2021, he married Geralde Guyot, founder of the French brand D'Estrëe, in Venice, Italy.
Frédéric was born on Nov. 10, 1995. In 2020, he was named the CEO of TAG Watches and in January 2024, he became the CEO of LVMH Watches.
Jean was born in 1998. According to Fashion Network, Jean studied at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and holds a master’s degree in financial mathematics. He is the director of watches development and marketing at Louis Vuitton.
In January 2024, Arnault nominated Alexandre and Frédéric to the LVMH board.
She performed at the Library of Congress
On April 11, 2018, Mercier performed at a special concert at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
According to the performance’s official summary, Mercier and Louis Lortie performed the “two-piano music of Arensky, Rachmaninoff and Medtner, alongside a four-hand work by Ravel.”
The concert was held to celebrate the Library of Congress’ acquisition of the holograph manuscript of Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances for two pianos.
She and Arnault pledged $226 million towards the rebuilding of the Notre Dame
After the Notre Dame fire on April 15, 2019, Arnault and Mercier pledged €200 million (over US $226 million) to help repair the damaged structure.
“The Arnault family and the LVMH Group, in solidarity with this national tragedy, are committed to asset with the reconstruction of this extraordinary cathedral, symbol of France, its heritage and its unity,” a statement read, explaining the donation will go to “the fund dedicated to the reconstruction of this architectural work, which is a core part of the French History.”
She and Arnault had dinner with King Charles in 2023
On Sept. 20, 2023, Mercier and Arnault attended a dinner with King Charles and Queen Camilla to honor their first official state visit to France as King and Queen. The meeting took place at Chateau de Versailles in Versailles after it was originally postponed due to protests over pension reforms in France.
Mercier wore a green floor-length gown and cape, while Arnault opted for a traditional black tuxedo and bow tie.
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