Fashion designer, businessman, philanthropist — Ralph Lauren can now add Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) to his resume as he becomes the first American fashion designer to be recognized with an honorary knighthood. Lauren will receive his honorary knighthood insignia from a representative of Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony next year.
“I warmly congratulate Ralph Lauren on this award that recognizes these efforts and achievements over the past 50 years,” says Antony Phillipson, British Consul General to New York and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America. “In his storied career in fashion, business, and philanthropy, Mr. Lauren has played a key role in forging transatlantic cultural and economic connections. As creator and visionary of the Ralph Lauren brand worldwide, Mr. Lauren 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 US and the UK, have led to benefits felt by citizens around the world.”
In his 50-plus year career, Lauren has also received the Key to the City of New York, the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal for being a great American and his role in the preservation of the Star-Spangled Banner, and CFDA’s Humanitarian Leadership Award, among countless other awards and recognitions.
Again, Ralph Lauren is now the first American fashion designer to be knighted. Other notable American recipients of honorary UK knighthoods or damehoods include former 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.
Up next, find out how Ralph Lauren is finally learning to speak streetwear, 50 years in.