Ralph Lauren is to become the first American fashion designer to be knighted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
On Wednesday, British Vogue reported that the 79-year-old has been recognized for his services to fashion with an honorary British knighthood. Bono, Steven Spielberg and Bill Gates are among the other non-British citizens to receive the same honor.
The insignia will be presented to the businessman and philanthropist by a representative of the British royal during a ceremony next year.
"Mr Lauren has played a key role in forging transatlantic cultural and economic connections," said Antony Phillipson, British Consul General to New York and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America. "As creator and visionary of the Ralph Lauren brand worldwide, he has 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.”
The news tops off a fantastic few months for the fashion mogul, who received a CFDA Members Salute in June on behalf of the 500-plus members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The label also staged a mammoth 50th anniversary fashion show in September, which was attended by a plethora of celebrities such as Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, Jessica Chastain and Blake Lively.
Addressing his legacy in a recent interview with Town and Country magazine, the fashion veteran explained his success stems from his willingness to take chances.
“Good taste alone is not going to build a company that lasts for 50 years. You know, good taste can be boring taste, and classics can be uninteresting,” he explained. “If all I had was good taste, people would say this is just an old man designing clothes."