Vera Wang awarded with France’s Legion of Honour

Fashion designer Vera Wang received one of France’s highest civilian distinctions on Tuesday (28Feb17).
The 67-year-old became a Knight of the Legion of Honor during a lavish lunchtime ceremony hosted at the Hotel National des Invalides in Paris.
“Merci, de tout mon coeur (Thank you with all my heart),” Wang said in perfect French as she accepted her award in front of distinguished guests. “This is an unimaginable honour, both as an American and a designer.”
As she received her trophy from Gerard Araud, France’s ambassador to the U.S., her A-list fashion colleagues Donna Karan, Alber Elbaz, Rebecca Moses, Alina Cho, and Patrick Demarchelier looked on with pride, while Vera explained how moving to France as a young woman transformed her life.
She initially pursued a career in figure skating and dance, but eventually became a student at the Sorbonne and landed one of her first jobs in fashion as a sales associate for Yves Saint Laurent.
“Paris shaped my life, Paris nurtured me, Paris inspired me, embraced me and Paris changed me,” Wang smiled during her speech. “No one I know in fashion who has ever had the privilege to live and work in this city has not emerged a more artful, experienced or sophisticated thinker, and although skating and dance initially brought me to Paris, if it weren’t for my love of Paris and fashion, that first began here, certainly I would not be here today.”
American Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who has known and worked with Wang since the early 1980s, was unable to attend the celebration, but a letter was read out on her behalf at the ceremony.
“No one was more industrious than you…,” Wintour’s sweet letter read. “No one at Vogue was funnier or louder or more neurotic or more endearing.”