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Designers Rykiel, Jacobs made French knights

Fashion notables Marc Jacobs and Nathalie Rykiel are now knights in France's Order of Arts and Letters.

ulture Minister Frederic Mitterrand bestowed the honor on the two, praising their contributions to the fashion world as Paris hosted menswear shows Friday.

Mitterrand called Jacobs, an American who heads couture lines including his own and is artistic director for Louis Vuitton, "an iconic designer, a gifted person, but also a hard worker."

Jacobs told The Associated Press, "It is one of the greatest honors and that is why I made a point in giving my speech, which I wrote myself and repeated all night, in French."

Designer Sonia Rykiel attended the ceremony. Her daughter Nathalie is president and artistic director of the family label.