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Ralph Lauren, CEO of Limited Brands, Gap founder among Forbes 400

Forbes released its 400 Richest People in America list Wednesday morning, and fashion, beauty and retail are big factors in the fortunes of some of the wealthiest players in the country.

Ralph Lauren, CEO of Limited Brands, Gap founder among Forbes 400

The Ralph Lauren Spring 2013 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York,  Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)<br />
The Ralph Lauren Spring 2013 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Richard Drew

Forbes released its 400 Richest People in America list Wednesday morning, and it seems fashion, beauty and retail were big factors in the fortunes of some of the wealthiest Americans.

Ralph Lauren logged the No. 52 spot on the list with a net worth of $6.5 billion. The source of his wealth is based on his preppy clothing brand and the various subdivisions of his Ralph Lauren empire. However, not all publicity for the self-made King of American fashion has been good: This summer, Lauren received a tremendous amount of criticism from lawmakers and the fashion industry for outfitting U.S. athletes at the London Olympics in official uniforms that were "Made in China."

Jin Sook & Do Won Chang came in at No. 79 as the founders of fast fashion arbiter Forever 21 with a net worth of $4.5 billion. The couple's story is really quite inspiring: They immigrated from Korea in 1981, the husband worked three jobs at one point, and within three years, the two opened their first store. The lawsuits they've encountered for copyright infringement on the other hand? Not so much. Despite the backlash Forever 21 has received from designers and retailers for blatantly poaching designs, the company just opened its first store in France and makes close to $3 billion in revenue each year.

Leslie Wexner, the chairman and CEO of Limited Brands, Inc. came in at No. 83 with a net worth of $4.4 billion. Limited Brands is the umbrella company of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, and both currently seek rapid expansion internationally. Expect more from Wexner in the next year.

Hair products and spirits catapulted John Paul DeJoria to No. 92 on the list with a net worth of $4 billion. DeJoria's John Paul Mitchell Systems remains a salon staple- his products are sought and recognized by celebrity stylists and clients worldwide. And for all the tequila aficionados out there: DeJoria is also the co-founder of Patron Spirits.

Richard Hayne, CEO of Navy Yard-based Urban Outfitters, took the No. 328 spot with a net worth of $1.4 billion. Hayne, a former hippie who co-founded the first Urban Outfitters store right off Penn's campus in 1970, returned to his post in January. It hasn't been an easy transition back for Hayne who relieved former CEO Glen Senk of his duties in January 2012: Urban was slapped with a lawsuit from the Navajo Nation for trademark infringement.

Other notable beauty, fashion and retail industry players on the list include beauty buff Ronald Lauder (No. 118, $3.4 billion), Jeffrey Skoll of eBay (No. 120, #3.3 billion, founder of Gap Doris Fisher (No. 142, $2.9 billion) and her son John Fisher (No. 206, $2.3 billion), Oakley and RED founder James Jannard (No. 150, $2.8 billion), New Balance chairman Jim Davis (No. 229, $2.1 billion), and many more.

For an overview on the list's local connections, click here. For the full list, click here.

Esther Lee Philly.com
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Reach Esther at elee@philly.com.

Esther Lee Philly.com
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