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HONOR ROLL: Christophe Girard, mayor of the 4th arrondissement of Paris and strategy director at LVMH Fashion Group, had a good-luck charm tucked into the pages of his acceptance speech Wednesday night as he was decorated as an officer of the Legion of Honor: It was an invitation dated from 1967 for when his father, René, received the same recognition from then French President Charles de Gaulle.
An eclectic and accomplished group — spanning the worlds of politics, art, film, gastronomy, literature and fashion — crowded into the gilded salons of the L’hôtel de Lassay for the ceremony.
Claude Bartolone, president of the National Assembly of France, called Girard a “man of 1,000 faces” given his broad interests, scope of influence, his facility with languages including English and Japanese and his endless stream of communication. “Christophe blogs, he tweets, he chats,” Bartolone said with a chuckle.
Born in Saumur, France, Girard started his career at Yves Saint Laurent, spending 21 years as the right hand of couture boss Pierre Bergé. He entered politics in the late Nineties, around the same time as he joined LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. As deputy mayor of Paris in charge of culture in 2001, he famously brought an around-the-clock arts festival, dubbed “Nuit Blanche,” or White Nights, to Paris. It has since been duplicated in scores of cities across Europe.
Firmly attached to his city and the Marais neighborhood in particular, Girard declared, “It is impossible not to love Paris, and impossible to leave.”
Among the French film stars present were Andréa Ferréol and Anouk Aimée, who said a young director is preparing a script for her next film.