12 Interesting Facts About Les Wexner - Les Wexner NET WORTH
Les Wexner is a prominent American businessman who has made significant contributions to the retail industry and beyond. As the founder and former CEO of L Brands, he played a crucial role in shaping the landscape of fashion and beauty retail. Here are 12 interesting facts about Les Wexner:
1. Early Life and Education: Leslie "Les" Wexner was born on September 8, 1937, in Dayton, Ohio, to parents Harry and Bella Wexner. He grew up in a Jewish family with a strong work ethic and learned the importance of discipline and perseverance from an early age. He attended Bexley High School and later enrolled at The Ohio State University.
2. The Start of Limited Brands: In 1963, at the age of 25, Wexner founded The Limited, a clothing store in Columbus, Ohio. His initial investment was $5,000, which he borrowed from his aunt. The store initially offered a limited selection of women's apparel, but it quickly became a success, laying the foundation for his retail empire.
3. Expansion of The Limited: Under Wexner's leadership, The Limited expanded rapidly. He introduced innovative retail strategies, such as limited inventories and fast turnover, which created a sense of urgency among customers. The company's growth was fueled by a keen understanding of customer preferences and a commitment to providing trendy and affordable fashion.
4. Victoria's Secret Acquisition: In 1982, Les Wexner acquired the struggling lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret for $1 million. He transformed the brand, repositioning it as a high-end lingerie retailer known for its glamorous and sophisticated image. Under his leadership, Victoria's Secret became one of the most iconic and successful lingerie brands in the world.
5. The Creation of L Brands: In 2002, Wexner reorganized his retail empire, combining The Limited, Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, and other brands under a new corporate entity called L Brands. This move allowed him to focus on different market segments while streamlining operations.
6. Enthusiastic Philanthropist: Les Wexner is known for his generous philanthropic endeavors. He and his wife, Abigail, have supported various causes, including education, health care, and the arts. They have made substantial donations to The Ohio State University, and Wexner's name adorns several institutions, such as the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Wexner Medical Center.
7. Strong Supporter of Education: Wexner believes in the power of education to transform lives. In 1992, he established the Wexner Foundation, which aims to strengthen Jewish leadership in North America and Israel. The foundation offers fellowships and scholarships to emerging leaders, fostering their growth and impact in their respective fields.
8. Art Enthusiast and Collector: Les Wexner has a passion for art and has amassed an impressive collection over the years. He is particularly interested in modern and contemporary art, and his collection includes works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
9. Controversies and Resignation: In 2019, Wexner faced controversies related to his association with Jeffrey Epstein, a financier and convicted sex offender. Epstein had managed Wexner's finances, and there were questions about their close relationship. Wexner stepped down as CEO of L Brands in 2020 but remained as Chairman Emeritus.
10. Real Estate Ventures: Apart from his retail ventures, Les Wexner is involved in several real estate projects. He owns extensive properties, including a large estate in New Albany, Ohio, called "The Limited Brands Founder's House." He has also invested in commercial and residential properties across the United States.
11. Influence on Fashion and Beauty: Throughout his career, Wexner has been a driving force in the fashion and beauty industries. He introduced innovative marketing techniques and embraced the power of brand image, turning Victoria's Secret fashion shows into highly anticipated events. His influence in the retail sector has left a lasting mark on consumer behavior and fashion trends.
12. Recognition and Awards: Les Wexner's entrepreneurial success and philanthropic efforts have earned him numerous accolades. He has been recognized for his contributions to business and retail, as well as for his charitable endeavors. Some of the awards he has received include the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship and the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.
In conclusion, Les Wexner's journey from a small-town entrepreneur to a retail magnate and philanthropist exemplifies the power of vision, innovation, and hard work. His impact on the fashion and beauty industries, as well as his dedication to giving back to the community, have cemented his legacy as one of the most influential figures in American business.