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The GCFAs celebrated beautiful clothing made in ways that respect the planet, and that stand the test of time

As fashion week in Milan drew to a close on September 22nd, Mr. Valentino made a surprise appearance at the historic La Scala opera house. He was there for the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, the latest addition to fashion’s calendar of accolades, but distinct from all the others in its focus on sustainability. The event was well-timed: Two days earlier, children all over the world had taken to the streets to demand action on the climate, and on the day following, heads of nations would convene at U.N. to take up the matter. In the meantime, the GCFAs celebrated beautiful clothing made in ways that respect the planet, and that stand the test of time. With that in mind, organizers Eco-Age (headed by Livia Firth) and the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana presented Mr. Valentino with the gala’s most prestigious prize: Its Legacy Award, bestowed in honor of the timeless fashions he created over the course of his decades-long career. Aptly, it was ageless beauty Sophia Loren who presented her friend Mr. Valentino with the award. 


“I think the Legacy Award means many different things,” mused Mr. Valentino, who received a standing ovation that filled the majestic La Scala with applause. “Legacy is heritage,” he noted. “It’s about passing on a mandate, something that can showcase my work and, at the same time, transmit what I’ve learnt in sixty years in the fashion industry.” Tipping his hat to the designers who have succeeded him at Maison Valentino, which is currently headed by the trendsetting Pierpaolo Piccioli, and “their incredible work inspired by what we did together in the past,” Mr. Valentino went on to note that, at heart, his legacy is about the “constant search for beauty.” 


“This is the heritage which I dedicated to thousands of women in the world,” he explained. “Green Carpet and Eco-Age recognize those people who have always tried to make this planet better…I really hope that my personal contribution was this creation of beauty.”


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