DAME NATALIE: As part of her annual New Year Honors list, Queen Elizabeth II has handed down honors to a number of names in the fashion and arts industries — and Natalie Massenet, founder and former executive chairman of the Net-a-porter Group, is near the top of the list, being named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or DBE. The honor recognizes Massenet’s contributions to the country’s economy.
Massenet also is chairman of the British Fashion Council. This year, she stepped down from the company she founded before its merger with the Yoox Group and since then has set up a new company, Imaginary Ventures Ltd., according to paperwork filed at Companies House, the official registry of U.K. businesses.
While usually Americans can’t use honorific titles granted by the Queen, Massenet holds dual British and American citizenship so will be able to join the likes of Mary Quant and Anita Roddick in calling herself a dame.
Others from the fashion world on the Queen’s list include Jacqueline Gold, the chief executive officer of Ann Summers and Knickerbox, who has been named Commander of the British Empire or CBE.
Gold and Massenet have been handed down honors alongside a number of other women who have made important contributions to the U.K. economy, including EasyJet’s ceo, Carolyn McCall.
In addition, Alison Lewy, founder of Fashion Angel, has been named MBE or Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. After running her own design and manufacturing business for more than 15 years and consulting for designers such as Preen and Matthew Williamson, Lewy founded Fashion Angel to provide support and source funding for up-and-coming designers and fashion entrepreneurs.
In the arts and culture world, actors Idris Elba, James Nesbitt and David Oyelowo were named Officers of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or OBE.
Tamara Rojo, artistic director of the English National Ballet, was named a CBE for her services to ballet. Rojo received her honor as part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office list of Britons living overseas.