Known to the world in general chiefly as Salma Hayek’s wealthy husband, François-Henri Pinault is much more than that. Yes, he is a billionaire and married to one of Hollywood’s most attractive women. But that’s only scratching the surface.
Salma Hayek and husband Francois-Henri Pinault
Find out more about Pinault, his relationships prior to Hayek, and his family’s extraordinary contribution to French culture.
Pinault is a fashion mogul
With an estimated net worth of $7 billion, Pinault became CEO in 2005 of what was then known as PPR (Pinault-Printemps-Redoute) from his father, François Pinault. He renamed PPR to Kering in 2013, moved the brand into luxury goods, and acquired major names including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Brioni, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Boucheron, and Pomellato.
He is also the president of Groupe Artémis, the holding company managing the assets of the Pinault family. Groupe Artémis contains the luxury auction house Christie’s, French winery Château Latour, Stade Rennais Football Club, and Paris’s Théâtre Marigny, among many others.
Pinault fathered a child with model Linda Evangelist
Pinault has two children, François, 21, and Mathilde, 18, from his previous eight-year marriage to Dorothée Lepère.
Another of Pinault’s previous relationships was with former supermodel Linda Evangelista, whom he briefly dated in 2006. She became pregnant with their son, Augustin, and eventually sued Pinault for unpaid child support in 2012.
According to Forbes at that time, Evangelista had been caring for her son on her own since his 2006 birth. However, once her salary decreased tremendously after the loss of her lucrative contract representing L’Oreal, she had to request Pinault’s financial assistance. Evangelista was seeking $46,000 a month to care for the child, who is now 13.
Pinault reached an agreement with Evangelista but made clear to Hello! in 2011 that he had never neglected care of his son, stating that “at every possible opportunity he has participated in my family life, whether in France or the United States. He is totally integrated within my family.” He added that Valentina, his daughter with wife Hayek, treats him like a brother.
Pinault and his father are dedicated art patrons
To speak of François-Henri Pinault’s influence in France’s art space is to speak first of his father, François Pinault. The elder Pinault is one of the most important figures in French art and his contemporary art collection is lauded as one of the world’s largest.
In addition to operating two museums in Venice—the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana—he is opening The Bourse de Commerce, a private museum for his extensive collection, scheduled to open in June 2020. Costing a staggering $170 million to build, the museum is designed by Tadao Ando and a dream come true for François.
In 2019, after the Cathedral de Notre-Dame in Paris caught fire, father and son pledged €100 million (about $113 million) toward a rebuilding campaign. Of course, that amount of money is just a drop in their financial bucket, but still a strong indication of their love for Paris and the arts.
“Last night, I was like many French people watching the tragedy of Notre Dame burning in front of me,” Pinault stated in April of this year, “and I was so in shocked and I was among kids, adults, all people crying looking at that, and I said I had to do something,”