Alain Wertheimer is a name that is indistinguishable from the fashion industry. Known for being the co-owner of the legendary fashion house, Chanel, Wertheimer boasts an interesting and multifaceted personality. However, there’s a lot more to this influential figure beyond his reputation in fashion. Here, we delve into 10 things about Alain Wertheimer that you may not know.

1. He’s Among the Richest People in The World

With a whopping net worth of over $30 billion, Alain Wertheimer is listed among the wealthiest people on the globe. His prosperity primarily stems from his ownership of Chanel, a fashion house initiated by Coco Chanel. His fortune is matched by his deep desire for privacy, transforming him into a mythical figure indistinguishable from the concept of wealth itself.

Alain and his brother Gerard, co-owners of Chanel, made headlines in 2018 when Chanel disclosed its earnings for the first time, unveiling the scale of the Wertheimer brothers’ wealth. Financial experts estimated their fortune at above the $30 billion mark, placing them collectively among the globe’s wealthiest.

2. He is Passionate about Horse Racing

Beyond the world of fashion, Wertheimer is a longstanding fan of horse racing. The business mogul owns several racing stables, including Wertheimer et Frère in France and the United States. His horses have won multiple prestigious races, including the French Derby and Breeders’ Cup Mile.

It was Alain’s grandfather, Pierre, who first developed the family’s interest in horse racing, and passion has since passed down to subsequent generations. Much of his Breeder’s Cup success can be attributed to Goldikova, a mare who won the Mile on three successive occasions from 2008 to 2010.

3. Wertheimer Values His Privacy

Despite being a prominent name in the world of fashion and possessing a striking wealth profile, Alain Wertheimer maintains a rather low-key and private life. It is for this reason that not many people know specific details about his lifestyle or personal affairs. The business tycoon hardly gives interviews and restrains from public appearances unless necessary.

Many suggest this desire for privacy may stem from the family’s history. As a Jewish family, the Wertheimers had to escape to the United States during the Second World War to avoid persecution. This traumatic past possibly explains their discreet lifestyle.

4. He Owns Several Vineyards

Alain Wertheimer’s interests extend to viticulture as well. He owns several vineyards in France and Napa Valley, United States, revealing his penchant for wine. Château Canon and Château Rauzan-Ségla are among his most prominent properties in France.

Their Bordeaux and Margaux wines are held in high esteem by oenophiles worldwide. In the Napa Valley region, Alain owns the notable winery of St. Supéry, re-emphasizing his love for the finest wines.

5. He Made a Brief Appearance in a French Film

Alain Wertheimer made a short appearance in the French movie “And They Lived Happily Ever After” in 2004. Unlike his family’s traditionally discreet presence, Alain showcased his acting prowess in this film where he played the character of a doctor.

Although it was a small role, it demonstrated a more personal side of the wealthy business magnate, and cinema fanatics may want to view this film just to catch a glimpse of the elusive Wertheimer in a rare public appearance.

6. He doesn’t Like Being Called a Boss

Despite owning one of the most esteemed fashion labels, Alain Wertheimer doesn’t like being referred to as a boss. Alain stated in a rare interview that he perceives himself more as an aide or a secretary to the creative people at Chanel. He sees his role as a facilitator, enabling the designers to bring their innovative creations to fruition.

This perspective towards his position reveals a different side of the businessman. It shows that Wertheimer values the creative process and individuals’ inputs, which might explain his immense success in managing a design-focused brand such as Chanel.

7. He Fought a Legal Battle with Yves Saint Laurent

In the late 1960s, Chanel under the Wertheimers had to fight a legal battle with another famous fashion brand, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL). Pierre Bergé, the partner of Yves Saint Laurent, accused Wertheimer of not properly marketing the YSL perfumes, of which Chanel held distribution rights.

The defamation case lasted several years, and eventually, YSL and Pierre Bergé were ordered to publicly apologize to the Wertheimers. The incident portrayed a more aggressive side of the otherwise unobtrusive and peaceful Wertheimer.

8. He Became Chanel’s CEO in 1974

Alain Wertheimer became the Chief Executive Officer of Chanel in 1974. His brother, Gerard, became the chairman. The brothers took over the fashion powerhouse after the death of their father, Jacques. Despite the luxury fashion industry being fiercely competitive, under their leadership, Chanel has only prospered and grown.

Alain’s task as CEO has not been an easy one, considering the significant financial difficulties Chanel faced during the mid-70s. Wertheimer successfully managed the crisis by focusing on the development of perfumes and cosmetics, which turned around the situation for Chanel.

9. He Maintained a Good Relationship with Karl Lagerfeld

The creative director of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, worked closely with Wertheimer for over three decades until Lagerfeld’s death in 2019. Despite rumors of their turbulent relationship, they shared a unique bond, according to Lagerfeld. They respected each other’s abilities and understood their roles within Chanel, allowing for a long and profitable collaboration.

Indeed, Lagerfeld once said, “Alain Wertheimer is the perfect boss. He lets me do anything I want.” This statement clearly reflects the trust and belief Wertheimer had in Lagerfeld’s creative prowess.

10. He Holds a Major Stake in Bell & Ross

In addition to owning Chanel, Alain Wertheimer also has a significant investment in Bell & Ross, a notable watch company. The company specializes in manufacturing watches for professionals who require reliable tools for their jobs like pilots, divers, and astronauts.

As with Chanel, Alain’s leadership and vision have significantly influenced the success of Bell & Ross. His involvement in the watch industry reiterates his love for luxury and elegance.

These fascinating aspects reveal a more holistic viewpoint of the fashion titan and luxury entrepreneur, Alain Wertheimer. Despite his significant influence in the global fashion industry, he relishes his private life away from the public eye, appreciating the finest things in life like wine, horse racing, and fine watches. Above all, his respect for creativity and innovation sets him apart as an affable and successful leader in the industry.

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