The British Fashion Council and Swarovski have announced that American designer Ralph Lauren will be presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Fashion Awards 2016.
The designer will be recognised for his namesake brand, which he founded nearly 50 years ago, and his tireless commitment to design, innovation, business and philanthropy.
He launched his namesake brand as a tie and menswear business in 1967, adding womenswear and the full line of Polo by Ralph Lauren menswear only five years after launch. The Ralph Lauren family of brands have helped shape the contemporary image of quintessential Americana, encompassing the designer’s realisation of an aspirational lifestyle with glamour, sophistication and integrity.
Collaborations with acclaimed photographers including Bruce Weber, Shelia Metzner, Mark Seliger and Stephen Meisel have created a visual heritage that is instantly recognisable, while the brand’s commitment to the USA have led to sponsorship deals with some of the nation’s most successful athletes and teams.
Ralph Lauren’s relationship to sports, Hollywood movies and polo shirts has further cemented the company as one of America’s most powerful fashion brands.
Dame Natalie Massenet, Chairman British Fashion Council commented: “Ralph Lauren is an exemplary designer and businessman. He has helped to define an era in both American and global fashion with his singular vision; I know that most of us would say he has inspired us immeasurably. He has built an outstanding legacy and I look forward to celebrating him for years to come.”
As well as being a creative mastermind and a business leader, Ralph Lauren is incredibly generous. He co-founded the Nina Hyde Centre for Breast Cancer Research in 1989 and has supported a multitude of worthy causes through the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation. In 2000, he launched the Pink Pony Fund, later founding two cancer care and cancer research centres in Harlem, New York, and at The Royal Marsden in London.
Additionally, Lauren established the American Heroes Fund to help with the relief effort following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and he donated $1 3million towards preserving the original Star-Spangled Banner.
“This endless capacity for generosity is part of what makes Lauren such a beloved and respected figure in the fashion community, and is one of countless reasons he is to be honoured this year at the Fashion Awards,” said the British Fashion Council.
Ralph Lauren will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Fashion Awards ceremony on Monday 5 December at the Royal Albert Hall in London.