On this most special day, June 17, 2014, the dedicated designer known as Ralph Lauren who has impressed us for over five decades with his sophisticated style, received the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal. Former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, presented a touching keynote speech honoring the many efforts of Ralph Lauren. She was wearing a custom cobalt blue structured silk jacket and pants from the Ralph Lauren Collection.
So many outstanding qualities make this designer a legend and hero in his right. He was recognized today for his lifetime contributions to American entrepreneurship, his futuristic vision for America, talented creativity, artistry and all his generous philanthropy. He has contributed greatly to the preservation of the Star-Spangled Banner. This year marks the 200th anniversary year of the Star-Spangled Banner, so not only was the medal given out, but celebrating the gift of freedom were fifteen candidates who became U.S. citizens today.
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, G. Wayne Clough, presented the coveted award to this well deserving recipient, congratulating Lauren and remarking that the designer's style embodies the American spirit.
Humble and reserved, Lauren approached the podium to give his gracious thanks. From the sparkle in his eyes, it was not difficult to surmise that Ralph Lauren loves what he does and spreads that joy. In his acceptance speech, Lauren pointed out that he has always been inspired by America, designing some of his clothing in the red, white and blue of the American flag. He generously gives because he believes in the history of America.