François Nars Received the Medal of the Legion of Honor

November 14, 2016 | By French Culture

New York City, November 9th, 2016- François Nars, makeup artist, photographer, author, and Founder & Creative Director of NARS Cosmetics, has been conferred the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by D’Artagnan founder Ariane Daguin, on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016, at a ceremony taking place at the Payne Whitney Mansion in New York, home to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Born in Tarbes, France, Nars has had a lifelong passion for cosmetics. In his youth, he was intrigued by fashion and design, and later studied cosmetics at the famous Carita Institute in Paris. After graduating, he moved to New York and worked with Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue US, and Vogue Italia, among many others and designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, and Calvin Klein.

In his career, Nars sought to use cosmetics to enhance the individuality and unique features of each of his subjects. However, he felt that the supply of makeup available to artists was too limited to achieve this goal. With this in mind, he decided to create his own cosmetics line, and launched NARS Cosmetics as a collection of twelve lipsticks at Barneys New York in 1994. High demand for the lipstick collection encouraged Nars to continue to expand his line.

Since its founding, NARS has been hugely successful, and now offers beauty products of all varieties to consumers all over the world. François Nars has also published six books including X-Ray, Makeup Your Mind, 15X15, Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself, Faery Lands and most recently François Nars. In 2011, Nars won the Fashion Group International’s prestigious Beauty Luminary Award, and has also won awards from Allure and Marie Claire, among others. The brand is widely recognized as one of the most successful and influential makeup lines on the market. . Today, Nars continues to focus his time as the Creative Director of NARS and his career as an esteemed photographer.

In his work as a makeup artist and entrepreneur, François Nars has served to promote his global vision of beauty through his cosmetics and photography on an international scale. NARS is available at store locations in 27 markets worldwide.

The Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest award bestowed by the French government. Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte to recognize outstanding achievement in the military as well as in the public and private sectors, the award recognizes those who have rendered over twenty years of eminent service to France. The Order is made up of three ranks — chevalier, officier, commandeur — and two high offices (“dignités”) — grand officier, and grand croix. Recipients are named by decree signed by the President of the Republic. The Legion of Honor may be awarded to foreign citizens, though such recognition is relatively rare. American honorees include John Ashbery, Renée Fleming, Barbra Streisand, and the late Elie Wiesel, as well as hundreds of World War II veterans.

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, educational and university programs to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop, Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts.

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Media Contact: Camille Desprez, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, camille.desprez@diplomatie.gouv.fr, +1.212.439.1417

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