Paris – Fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg was honored with the prestigious Légion d’Honneur by Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, in a remarkable ceremony held at the historic Quai d’Orsay in Paris.
Diane von Furstenberg, a luminary in the fashion world, enjoyed a star-studded event attended by luminaries such as Jeff Bezos, Seth Meyers, Christiane Amanpour, Anna Wintour, Larry Gagosian, Christian Louboutin, and Jonathan Newhouse, among others. The guest list also included John and Lapo Elkann, Delphine and Antoine Arnault, and rising talents like Julie de Libran and influencer Caroline Daur. The evening even saw the presence of intriguing personalities like François-Marie Banier, a central figure in the Bettencourt scandal.
During her speech, Christine Lagarde commended Diane von Furstenberg’s illustrious career, spotlighting her revolutionary creation of the iconic wrap dress, her presidency at the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), and her pivotal role in the Statue of Liberty’s restoration—a cherished gift from France to the United States.
«Your journey, marked by determination in the face of challenges often encountered by women in leadership, is truly inspiring,» said Lagarde, clad in an elegant DVF pantsuit, her words reflecting her strong resolve.
Lagarde continued, «Diane, your philanthropy in the world of fashion is remarkable, contributing to women’s causes and underscoring the elegance of the heart.» She highlighted DVF’s philanthropic foundation, which has supported a diverse range of human rights advocates, including Anita Hill and Jane Goodall, the renowned primatologist.
In response, Diane von Furstenberg charmed the audience with her graciousness, saying, «To receive this honor from you is a privilege beyond words,» eliciting resounding cheers.
In a lighter tone, she continued, «Your exceptional leadership, from being the first woman to serve as the Minister of Finance in a G7 country to heading the IMF, is nothing short of extraordinary. And yes, my brief stint as a synchronized swimmer for France has proven handy in unforeseen crises, much like the 2008 financial downturn. I’m a proud mother of two sons and fortunate to have a charming partner!» Her witty remarks added levity to the occasion, prompting laughter.
DVF then turned her attention to the enchanting city of Paris, gesturing towards the Seine through the window. «Paris, a city of women and timeless elegance, where one can savor coffee at charming cafés, explore quaint bookshops, and perhaps even indulge in a few clandestine affairs,» she mused, receiving enthusiastic applause.
Reflecting on the moment she received the award while sailing last summer, von Furstenberg shared, «It was Napoleon who established this award in 1802 to honor those championing civil rights and displaying courage. While military affairs have never been my forte, I’m deeply honored by this recognition.» The event was attended by her son Alex, her grandchildren, her brother, along with numerous relatives from her birthplace in Brussels, all coming together to celebrate this extraordinary woman, surrounded by the affection of friends who appreciate her unique contributions.