NEW YORK - OCTOBER 14: Designer Ralph Lauren and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are in attendence as Ralph Lauren receives the key to New York City at the Ralph Lauren Madison Avenue Store on October 14, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ralph Lauren;Michael Bloomberg
Last night was indeed an exciting and event-filled one for Ralph Lauren. Not only did the designer celebrate the launch of his newest women's store, a glamorous and awe-inspiring four-story behemoth on Madison Avenue, but he was also recipient to one of the the city's greatest accolades: a key to New York.
Jerry Seinfeld, Martha Stewart, Vera Wang, Lauren Bush and daughter Dylan Lauren were all on hand as Mayor Bloomberg—who sported a Ralph Lauren tie for the occasion and good-naturedly referenced the flack he's gotten lately for his lack of fashion-savvy—presented the designer with a large gold-plated key and a blue "I [heart] NY" key chain. "I was talking to Ralph before this, and he asked me, 'What does this key open?' The answer is, absolutely nothing," Bloomberg said. Dating back over 300 years, the custom of presenting a key to an individual was a significant honor, symbolizing free admission to a fortified and heavily-guarded city.
Lauren is in esteemed company as other key recipients have included the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Mother Theresa, however as a bona fide New Yorker, born and raised in the Bronx, this is a particularly huge honor.