MASSENET’S MOMENT: “If you had told me when I was rookie journalist at Women’s Wear Daily that one day I’d be standing up here, I wouldn’t have believed you. I think this is a tremendous honor and I intend to take it very seriously,” Natalie Massenet said Tuesday night as chairman of the British Fashion Council Harold Tillman handed her the reins of the organization at Brew Wharf in London’s Borough Market.

“I really, sincerely believe [Natalie] can take the baton and propel the BFC forward,” Tillman said. “She has the vision, talent, international perspective, style and personality to take the BFC to the next stage.”

This story first appeared in the September 19, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In her capacity as BFC ambassador, Samantha Cameron thanked Tillman and said, “You have been a fantastic chairman during the past five years of dedication and hard work to British fashion.” She praised him for building such a strong team and added, “Part of the job is to find a great successor and, Harold, you have done that. It’s going to be an incredible experience to see the next few years unfold.”

“Don’t let the American accent fool you,” Massenet joked with the crowd. “I am British. My mom is British; I’ve been here for 20 years and I started my business here. I have precise and specific plans that I intend to put into motion. But, before then, over the next few months, I intend to do my homework.”