Inspiration Report

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Queen Elizabeth recently named fashion designer Ralph Lauren as an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Antony Phillipson, Queen Elizabeth’s Trade Commissioner for North America and British Consul General to New York, said that Lauren earned the honor of a knighthood because “in his storied career in fashion, business and philanthropy, Mr. Lauren has played a key role in forging transatlantic cultural and economic connections.” Phillipson also stated that Lauren had been a “vanguard for the global fashion industry and American style for nearly half a century. In addition, monumental philanthropic efforts, especially in the realm of public health, cancer research and treatment in both the U.S. and the U.K., have led to benefits felt by citizens around the world.”

Laruen is the first American fashion designer to receive a knighthood from the queen, and he is one of the very few Americans who were similarly celebrated by the British monarchy. Other knighted Americans include Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush; former New York City Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudolph Giuliani; Angelina Jolie, Steven Spielberg, Bill and Melinda Gates and Angela Ahrendts.

While Lauren is the first American fashion designer to receive such an award, he is not the first fashion designer that the queen has honored this 2018. In February, The queen presented Richard Quinn with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. The award was created in order to recognize “the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy,” and it would be awarded to “an emerging British fashion designer who shows exceptional talent and originality while demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies.”

Between his impending knighthood and the 50th anniversary of his business, 2018 has been an important year for Ralph Lauren. He will not, however, officially receive his honorary knighthood insignia until a ceremony in 2019.

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