François Pinault receives France's highest honour

France's emperor of luxury, François Pinault, received France's high civilian distinction this week, the Dignity of the Great Cross in the Legion of Honor.

The founder of the Kering group previously had been made a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor on New Year’s Day in 2012.

Last November WWD reported the Italian government honored Pinault for his support for Italian luxury brands and his contribution to the art world, namely through his Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana contemporary art museums in Venice.

Pinault founded the luxury conglomerate Kering, who's portfolio includes Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga. The company is now managed by his son François-Henri Pinault.

The Legion of Honour, or Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur, is the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits, established 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte. The order is divided into five degrees of increasing distinction: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand-Croix (Grand Cross).

The order's motto is "Honneur et Patrie" ("Honour and Fatherland") and its seat is the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur next to the Musée d'Orsay, on the left bank of the River Seine in Paris.

Photo credit: Francois Pinault, © S. Plaine / CC-BY-SA-4.0, source: Wikimedia Commons