Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She is credited with replacing the corseted silhouette as the feminine standard of style with a sporty, casual chic. Her work as a designer redefined the fashionable woman in the era post World War I. She also played a vital role in revolutionizing jewelry, handbags, and fragrance.
Bernard Arnault is a French businessman and chairman of the luxury-goods company LVMH. Also an art collector, Arnault played a key role in establishing LVMH as a patron of art. In 2006, he sponsored the construction of an art museum called Louis Vuitton Foundation. He also created a competition called The LVMH Young Fashion Designer to students from fine-arts schools.
Evan Spiegel is credited with popularizing social media all over the world as he co-founded the popular social media company Snap Inc. In 2015, he was named the youngest billionaire in the world. The following year, he was named in Forbes magazine's list of 400 Richest Americans with an estimated net worth of $4 billion.
Arpad Busson is a French financier. He is credited with founding the EIM Group, for which he also serves as the chairman. Also known for his philanthropic efforts around the world, Arpad Busson is an ardent supporter of venture philanthropy, which encourages people to operate charity organizations like any other business ventures to maximize the effectiveness of charitable pursuits.
Edmond James de Rothschild was a French businessman with deep connections to the Rothschild banking family. He was a strong supporter of Zionism and donated significant amounts that went towards the establishment of the State of Israel. He also provided funds for the foundation of the Friends of the French National Museum of Natural History Society.
François-Henri Pinault is a French businessman. He is credited with transforming the retail conglomerate PPR, which was founded by his father François Pinault, into the world-renowned luxury fashion group Kering. Through Groupe Artémis, for which Pinault serves as the president, his family donated $113 million to reconstruct the famous Notre-Dame de Paris.
Carlos Ghosn is a French–Lebanese–Brazilian businessman who served as the CEO of Michelin North America. He also served as the chairman and CEO of Nissan and Renault. In 1999, he saved Nissan from near bankruptcy and turned around its fortune. In 2018, he was arrested in Japan for misusing Nissan's assets. He dramatically escaped from the custody is currently an internationally wanted fugitive.
Yves Saint Laurent was a French fashion designer who founded his eponymous fashion label in 1961. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most popular and influential fashion designers, Saint Laurent is credited with helping women all over the world find confidence by looking both elegant and comfortable at the same time. His life and career inspired many films.
L'Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the world’s richest woman as of 2020, made headlines when she sued her mother, trying to prove she was mentally incompetent. In spite of being born into luxury, she often ditched parties, and took to writing books on Greek mythology and religious commentaries.
After losing his parents at 10, Louis Vuitton ran away to Paris, where he gained repute as a box-maker/packer, and was even hired by Napoleon III’s wife, Empress Eugénie de Montijo. He then founded the iconic French fashion and luxury goods brand Louis Vuitton, which now operates in 50 countries.
Henri Fayol was a French mining engineer, author, mining executive, and director of mines. He is credited with developing a theory of business administration called Fayolism. Along with Frederick Winslow Taylor, Henri Fayol is credited with founding modern management methods.
French designer Thierry Mugler was initially known for his skills in ballet and drawing. He began his fashion career working for a boutique in Paris and later launched his brand. He is known for his peculiar clothes, inspired by birds and insects, and made of metal and crystals.
Greg Lansky is a French investor and entrepreneur based in the USA. He is best known for his work as a producer and director of numerous adult films, which he describes as art. In 2014, he founded Vixen Media Group, which went on to become one of the largest Internet pornography production companies. Greg Lansky has won several AVN Awards.
Known as the enfant terrible of the fashion world, Jean Paul Gaultier wasn’t formally trained in fashion but managed to redefine fashion with his peculiar range of clothes and perfume. He designed Madonna’s cone bra in the 1990s and used material such as corsets and tin cans in his collections.
German-French banker and the youngest child of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, James Mayer de Rothschild. He took over the reins of his family banking firm after the death of his brother Nathan and headed the French Rothschild banking family. The Légion d'honneur winner later also invested in a vineyard.
Fashion and jewelry designer Paloma Picasso is best known as the daughter of legendary artists Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot. She began her career designing costume jewelry for Yves Saint-Laurent and later designed for Tiffany & Co. Known for her signature red lipstick, she also has her own range of perfumes.
Born in small village in eastern France, Raymond Blanc grew up enjoying farm-fresh food. Mostly a self-taught chef, he later launched the double-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Manoir. He has trained chefs such as David Goodridge and has appeared on shows like his own series, Food & Drink.
Son of a brandy merchant, French economist Jean Monnet is known as The Father of Europe. He was one of the first to propose a common European market, leading six countries, including France, to form the European Coal and Steel Community, which eventually led to the modern-day European Union.
Isabel Maxwell is a French-born entrepreneur best known as the co-founder of Magellan, an early search engine. She studied at the University of Edinburgh. She first worked in film and TV production before venturing into technology, eventually becoming the president of Commtouch, an Israeli internet company. She has been listed as a technology pioneer of the World Economic Forum.
Jean-Claude Trichet is a French economist. He was the president of the European Central Bank from 2003 to 2011. Previously, he had been the governor of the Bank of France from 1993 to 2003 under the presidencies of François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac. A much-decorated personality, he is a Commander of the Legion of Honor.
French economist Jean-Baptiste Say supported free trade and competition. Scholars of economics know him for his law of markets, which states that supply creates its own demand. He had experimented with many jobs, from being a journalist to owning a cotton mill, and eventually became an economics professor.
Jacques Vallée is a French computer scientist, Internet pioneer, venture capitalist, astronomer, ufologist, and author. Vallée is credited with co-developing the first computerized map of Mars, which was used by NASA in the 1960s. An influential personality in the study of UFOs, Jacques Vallée has promoted such hypothesis as the interdimensional hypothesis.
Louis Renault was a French industrialist. A pioneer of the automobile industry, Renault is remembered for co-founding the popular automobile manufacturer, Renault Group. Renault is credited with building factories that contributed immensely to the war effort during the First World War; the Renault FT tank, the first tank of modern configuration, was created and manufactured by his company.
Jerome Jarre is a French entrepreneur and humanitarian. Best known for creating interesting content on Snapchat and Vine, Jarre has established himself as a social media celebrity. He is credited with co-founding a talent agency called GrapeStory, which works with Snapchat stars. A well-known humanitarian, Jarre helped raise nearly four million dollars to help Somali people suffering from a drought.
Born to a Banque de France employee, Jacques Delors followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the bank later. Educated at the Sorbonne, he became a Socialist Party member. The former French finance minister has also served as president of the European Commission and supported the formation of the euro.