SUZY’S HONOR: The International Herald Tribune’s longtime fashion editor Suzy Menkes was awarded Florence’s highest honor in a ceremony Wednesday in the city’s Palazzo Vecchio. In a comic moment just before the ceremony, the city’s 37-year-old Mayor Matteo Renzi invited Menkes to sit at his desk, then pointed at her and said, “The new mayor of Florence. The people of the city are very happy.”

Renzi described Menkes as “one of the most incredible representatives of fashion” and lauded her as a beacon of values and ethics “even in this moment of crisis in journalism.”

This story first appeared in the January 10, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In remarks she had prepared in Italian and which were greeted with hearty applause, Menkes said, “I want to think of this award not as an honor to me but as a love letter to Italian fashion.” She also thanked Pitti Immagine chief executive officer Raffaello Napoleone, who she said encouraged her to come to Pitti the first time more than 20 years ago.

Pitti Immagine chairman Gaetano Marzotto presented Menkes with a gift — a silver cup with a boar figure design on it. Praising Menkes’ “independence, correctness and professionalism,” Marzotto said, “You’re respected because you really write what you think.” He also highlighted her “fine humor” for “making us think fashion is important [while reminding us] it’s not everything.”

Others at the ceremony included Salvatore Ferragamo chairman Ferruccio Ferragamo and ceo Michele Norsa; Cameron Silver of Decades, and Idanna Pucci.

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