As anyone who has ever watched the Oscars knows, high fashion and high incomes often go hand-in-hand -- after all, while everybody may lust after Prada, Chanel and Fendi, only a few can afford the price tags. Not surprisingly, fashion isn't a bad route to wealth either: Last year's Forbes' billionaires list was already chock full of names from the world of couture, apparel, cosmetics and perfume: Giorgio Armani, the Lauderbrothers, and the family that owns Chanel, to name a few. Even some less-impressive brands have proven short routes to fame and fortune. After all, the owner of H&M made the list, as did the guy who owns Mango and the entrepreneur who founded Lululemon.
But if there has always been money in fashion, the last year has been especially good for its big names. In fact, of the 34 new names on Forbes latest list of billionaires, 10 came from the world of fashion.
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While the founders of Dolce & Gabbana may be facing up to five years in jail for tax evasion, their company is doing beautifully. In 2011, it had revenues of $1.5 billion, and the pair are, according to Forbes, at least, worth about $1 billion apiece.
While the company isn't a household name in the U.S., French cosmetics, clothing and perfume conglomerate Yves Rocher had more than $3 billion in sales worldwide in 2012, putting it in second place among French cosmetics companies, right behind L'Oreal. For Bris Rocher, grandson of the company's founder and current president, that translated into a ticket to Forbes' billionaires list.
Cosmetics run in Hubert d'Ornano's family. His father, Guillaume, founded Lancome in 1935 and sold it to L'Oreal in 1964. Four years later, the d'Ornanos, including Hubert, sold Orlane, another skincare company that they created. Today, Hubert and his family own Sisley, yet another skincare line. The shining jewel in Hubert's latest line is Sisleya ultra moisturizing cream -- a 1.6 ounce jar of which sells for $475.
In America, NeoGlory group is all but unknown. However, the costume jewelry manufacturer and retailer made $548 million in 2011, helping to push its founder, Zhou Xiaoguang, into the list of the world's billionaires.
While unknown in the U.S., Danish fashion retailer Bestseller is becoming a global player in apparel. In 2012, its stores -- located in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Canada -- pulled in an estimated $3.2 billion in sales. In the process, they gave 40-year-old founder and owner Anders Holch Povlsen a spot on Forbes' billionaires list.
For fans of jewelry and perfume, the name Bulgari -- or, more popularly, Bvlgari -- looms large. Nicola and Paolo Bulgari, the great-great grandsons of Bulgari's founder are still involved with the company, Nicola as the chair and Paolo as the vice-chair. And, though Bulgari is largely owned by French conglomerate MHLV, the Bulgaris still hold 2.4 percent of the stock -- more than enough to put them on Forbes' billionaires list.
Outside of his native Italy, entrepreneur Renzo Rosso is largely unknown. But his company, Diesel, looms large: Credited with turning jeans into high-end fashion, the retailer has branched out in recent years. Today, it owns a controlling stake in high-end brands Maison Martin Margiella, Viktor & Rolf, and Marni. And, while Renzo Rosso may not be a household name, as the sole owner of Diesel's parent company, he is certainly becoming well known to followers of the Forbes list.
Forbes describes the 46-year-old Tory Burch as the "second-youngest female self-made billionaire in America." To fans of her distinctive shoes and clothing lines, her title is a lot simpler: She's the preppy bohemian who made a pair of ballet flats one of America's must-have fashion accessories.