Legion of Honour for Hong Kong’s Joyce Ma

27th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 27 (AFP) - Hong Kong fashion guru Joyce Ma, who brought European style to Asia when she founded the upmarket Joyce Boutiques in the 1970s, was on Sunday awarded France's highest civilian distinction, the Legion of Honour.

PARIS, Feb 27 (AFP) - Hong Kong fashion guru Joyce Ma, who brought European style to Asia when she founded the upmarket Joyce Boutiques in the 1970s, was on Sunday awarded France's highest civilian distinction, the Legion of Honour.

French fashion federation president Didier Grumbach decorated Ma with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour medal at a ceremony attended by more than 100 people, including Japanese designer Kenzo Takada and Belgium's Dries van Noten.

Calling Ma an "ambassador" for European fashion in Asia, Grumbach said, "To us, she was a princess."

"She has held a spot and continues to hold a spot in the fashion world that is exceptional, because she continues to look at fashion as a whole," he added.

Ma launched Joyce Boutiques in the 1970s, introducing Europe's elite designers to fashion-conscious Asian customers. Today, her stores carry all the top labels, from John Galliano to Marni to Yohji Yamamoto.

"Proust said the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. And it was Paris that gave me the new eyes, that gave me the necessary insight into the true soul of fashion," Ma said.

She said her next great challenge would be to crack mainland China, which she called "the most fabulous market on the planet".

Ma's business is a family affair: she serves as chief executive of Joyce Boutique Holdings, her husband Walter is chairman and their daughter Adrienne serves as managing director.

With tears in her eyes, she thanked her husband, saying: "He has so unselfishly throughout all these years allowed me to have the space to dream and to make my dreams reality."

Also present at Sunday's ceremony, held in an ornate reception in the French capital's posh 16th arrondissement, were up-and-coming designers Adam Jones and Felipe Oliveira Baptista, whom Ma has supported.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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