PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN: Prabal Gurung officially became an American citizen Tuesday morning. The designer, who took his United States citizenship test on Sept. 6 (just 24 hours before his spring 2014 runway show), proudly accepted his naturalization certificate during the swearing in ceremony, held at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building.
Gurung, clad in a charcoal Antonio Azzuolo suit, brimmed with American pride while waiting in line prior to the ceremony.
This story first appeared in the September 25, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I woke up this morning and thought about everything I’ve been through,” Gurung said. “To be able to come to America, knowing no one, and build something… There’s the whole thing about chasing the American dream, and I am living proof. This particular day was so far away for me and now it’s happening. It’s really emotional for me.”
A sudden commotion towards the front of the line caught Gurung off guard, as a trio of red, white and blue coordinated gentleman began snapping iPhone photos.
Devoted fashion fans spotting their favorite designer?
“Those are my friends,” Gurung laughed. “I had no idea they were coming.”
By 10:45 a.m., Gurung and Co. had settled in amongst the hundred or so fellow newly minted citizens and their guests. Everyone was encouraged to wave the miniature American flags, thoughtfully provided at the door, as an introductory video narrated by Madeline Albright played.
“If Michelle [Obama] shows up in this video and is wearing Prabal, I’m going to die,” one of Gurung’s pals cracked.
Alas, the First Lady never made an appearance in the succinct ceremony, which clocked in at 45 minutes and ended with a group sing-along to “God Bless the U.S.A.”
Gurung hinted at a potential celebratory bash in upcoming weeks, but for now, it was back to the office. “Pre-fall,” he said with a shrug.