IRON MAN?: Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man and one of the fashion industry’s most formidable business titans, shows his softer side in a new documentary slated to air Feb. 3 on the France 5 television station. A screening is scheduled for tonight in Paris on the eve of the men’s fashion shows and couture week.

The 52-minute episode, titled “Bernard Arnault: l’enfance est un destine” (“Childhood is a destiny,” in English), traces Arnault’s upbringing in Roubaix, France, and illustrates how his father’s entrepreneurship inspired him to construct his own business empire. Arnault gave his full cooperation, sharing scores of home movies and inviting the cameras to accompany him as he visited his childhood home and school, his grandparents’ grave site and his first office. There’s also recent footage of him attending a major Dior event in Shanghai, and displaying his dazzling talent on the piano.

This story first appeared in the January 18, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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