MILAN — Italian designer Valentino Garavani will receive the American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award on Wednesday evening in London. The designer’s longtime partner and Valentino company’s cofounder Giancarlo Giammetti revealed the news on his Instagram account.
Giammetti posted a picture of a cake, shaped as a Vogue cover, featuring a picture of the designer. “It’s a celebration! Today is Valentino’s award day!” reads the caption, followed by the hashtags #mostprestigiousUSAward and #proudandhumbled.
Previously, Giammetti teased the announcement posting images of a private gathering and celebration, with friends of the Valentino company cofounders in attendance. Guests included Joan Collins and Percy Gibson; Simon and Yasmin Le Bon; Carlos Souza; Tim and Malin Jefferies; Tamara Beckwith with husband Giorgio Veroni; Countess Debonnaire von Bismarck and art curator and collector Lawrence Van Hagen, among others.
The American Academy of Achievement is a nonprofit founded by Brian Blaine Reynolds, a photographer known for his contributions to Life magazine and Sports Illustrated, in order to bring aspiring young people together with prominent personalities, who excel in their chosen professions.
The Academy’s Golden Plate Award has been presented since 1961 to approximately 25 to 30 guests of honor at the International Achievement Summit. Chosen by the Academy’s Awards Council — comprising past honorees — and other distinguished authorities, such guests are acclaimed as visionaries and achievers in sciences, arts, business, public service and sports.
Garavani will be the first European fashion designer to receive the award. According to the foundation’s web site, former fashion designers honored with the prize include Ralph Lauren in 1989; Oscar de la Renta and Calvin Klein in 1991; Liz Claiborne in 1993; Donna Karan in 1994; Tommy Hilfiger in 1996, and Carolina Herrera in 2005.
In addition to Garavani, this year the Academy of Achievement will also assign the Golden Plate Award to English actor and producer Sir Michael Caine; Sting; Led Zeppelin’s founder and guitarist Jimmy Page; American artistic gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and Pulitzer Prize winner photojournalist Lynsey Addario, among others.
Former award recipients included the U.S. presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan; cinema representatives Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Barbra Streisand and Dame Julie Andrews; media entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey; singer Aretha Franklin; artists Jeff Koons and Frank O. Gehry, and sport champions Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.