Inside the $7 Billion Dior Phenomenon

The Debrief

Oct 12 2022 • 30 mins

How the 75-year-old luxury house tripled its revenue in just four years, according to BoF luxury editor Robert Williams.


In 1947, months after being founded, Christian Dior Couture revolutionised dressing with its “New Look,” an exaggerated hourglass-shaped silhouette. In the ’80s, the then-withering brand was bought by entrepreneur Bernard Arnault, who would eventually transform it into one of the largest luxury labels in the world. In 2017, when LVMH — of which Arnault is CEO and chairman — took full control of the house, Dior transformed into one of fashion’s fastest-growing and most profitable labels — with estimated revenues of €6.6 billion.

“[LVMH] just said ‘We need to … do what it will take to get this business on the scale of these really big brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel,’” said BoF luxury editor Robert Williams.

Key Insights:

  • More than a decade after buying Dior, Arnault hired designer John Galliano — who introduced the Lady Dior bag — and appointed executive Sidney Toleando (now chief executive of LVMH fashion group) to refashion Dior as a modern luxury brand.
  • While Galliano and Toledano fully cemented Dior as a global fashion and leathergoods player with a robust beauty business over their 15-year partnership, the brand entered a new phase in 2017, when Arnault moved Dior from his personal holdings to LVMH.
  • The brand’s beauty and fashion lines are segmented, which has led to a certain amount of success, particularly in the company’s perfume business. Now, the brand is slowly starting to connect the two to power the business.
  • Dior’s total control over its brand — where it only sells through its channels, doesn’t discount and isn’t separated out on LVMH’s balance sheet — allows it to protect itself from investor demands and excess product risk.

Additional Resources:

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