Honoring Ralph Lauren’s lifetime contributions to America’s creative culture and most importantly his leadership in the preservation of its flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, the Smithsonian awarded the iconic New York fashion designer with this year’s James Smithson Bicentennial Medal. Lauren’s influence on the States can be felt far and wide, from embodying American style as one of the early lifestyle-driven brands to his long list of charities. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was on hand at the American Museum of National History to deliver yesterday’s keynote address just before Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution G. Wayne Clough presented the patriotic award to Lauren. Adding to the emotional morning, 15 immigrants from Australia to South Korea were sworn in as citizens in a special naturalization ceremony. Remembering his immigrant parents, Lauren said to those 15 candidates, “You’re very lucky to be here. I started with nothing but good parents and a good family, but the opportunity that I had to use my talent – America gave me that.”
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