Ralph Lauren becomes first American designer to receive British knighthood
The Queen is putting fashion first
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CELEBRITY Ralph Lauren
It's been an incredible year for fashion, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II would know best. Her Royal Highness is famous for her coordinated, color-coded outfits, and the entire British royal family has been serving up some serious looks. Now the Queen is putting an official stamp of approval on the significance of fashion.
Ralph Lauren, the famed 79-year-old fashion designer who recently celebrated 50 years in the business, was named on 14 November an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He will be presented with the honorary knighthood insignia next year, but he may now be called Ralph Lauren KBE, if he so wishes.
Antony Phillipson, British Consul General to New York and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America, told WWD that Lauren earned the honor for his efforts spanning “fashion, business and philanthropy," where he played "a key role in forging transatlantic cultural and economic connections.
"Mr. Lauren has been a vanguard for the global fashion industry and American style for nearly half a century," he added. "In addition, monumental philanthropic efforts, especially in the realm of public health, cancer research, and treatment in both the US and the UK have led to benefits felt by citizens around the world.”
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Lauren is the first ever American fashion designer to be recognized with an honorary knighthood, and he's now among the rare group of Americans celebrated by the British monarchy, US personalities that include Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, former New York City mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudolph Giuliani, actress Angelina Jolie, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Steven Spielberg.
This is not, however, the first royal win this year for the fashion industry. In February, Queen Elizabeth sat front row next to Anna Wintour at London Fashion Week during Richard Quinn's AW18 presentation. She was there to present the designer with the first ever Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, which was created in recognition of the role fashion plays in society and diplomacy. It's presented to designers who show "exceptional talent and originality while demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies," the British Fashion Council reports.
This year has seen a massive success for the fashion industry, but hopefully as people continue to scrutinize Meghan Markle's outfit choices, and as we start to take sustainable actions for our planet, these royal accolades will set the standard for designers in the coming years.
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