Ralph Lauren will be the first American designer to be honoured as Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE).
The 79-year-old designer, who just celebrated 50 years in business, will receive the honour as a recognition of his key roles in “fashion, business and philanthropy.”
In a statement, Antony Phillipson, British Consul General to New York and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America said Lauren earned the honour because he has played a “key role in forging transatlantic cultural and economic connections” and has been a “vanguard for the global fashion industry and American style for nearly half a century.
“I warmly congratulate Ralph Lauren on this award that recognises these efforts and achievements over the past 50 years,” he continued.
The award will be presented to the designer at a ceremony next year by a representative of Queen Elizabeth II.
Throughout his impressive 50-year career, Lauren's designs have been worn by multiple members of the royal family, including Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle.
In addition to an acknowledgement of his career in fashion, the award also recognises Lauren as a philanthropist and for his work advocating on behalf of cancer patients.
Lauren has shown a commitment to helping people receive the best medical care available by opening the Ralph Lauren Centre for Cancer Care & Prevention in East Harlem, New York, the Nina Hyde Centre for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Centre, and The Ralph Lauren Centre for Breast Cancer Research at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.
The knighthood means Lauren can choose to be referred to as Ralph Lauren KBE, as well as be named alongside other notable American recipients of the honour, including former presidents Dwight D Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H W Bush.
Angelina Jolie, Steven Spielberg, and Bill and Melinda Gates have also received the honour.
Lauren has previously been awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CDFA) Womenswear and Menswear Designer of the Year awards, and Member’s Salute. He was also honoured with the Key to the City of New York by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
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