Laura Biagiotti receives the Leonardo Award from the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano

On Tuesday, January 25, 2011, President Giorgio Napolitano presented Laura Biagiotti with the Leonardo Award promoted by the Leonardo Committee.

For the first time in history, the Leonardo Award has been given to a woman who is a shining example of Italian excellence worldwide.

“I am extremely proud and delighted to receive the prestigious Leonardo Award 2010 from the Italian President at the Quirinale. This happens to be my 50th anniversary in fashion, a career I began when I was nearly 18 years old. Therefore, as the first “Leonardo” woman, I am very excited to be celebrating my golden anniversary with my company, and I’d like to thank my entire work group.” Laura Biagiotti

Laura Biagiotti is one of Italy’s most famous fashion designers. Her career as a stylist and entrepreneur began in the sixties, following in the footsteps of her mother Delia from whom she inherited a passion for elegance and good taste and a spirit of self-sacrifice in her work.
Known for the extraordinary quality of her products that women around the world adore, she was dubbed the “Queen of Cashmere” by the New York Times due to her love for this precious yarn that she has used innovatively since her very first collection.
She was the first Italian designer to present a fashion show in China (1988) and in Moscow (1995), building an important bridge between Italy and the East together with the irreplaceable contribution of her late husband Gianni Cigna, who passed away prematurely.
Laura Biagiotti received the Knights of Labor honorary title in 1995. From 2000 to 2008, she served as the President of the Leonardo Committee, for which she is currently the Honorary President. Since 2009, she has been on the Executive Board of Banca d’Italia in Rome. Her long presidency on the Leonardo Committee (which lasted 3 terms) was not only a fascinating intellectual adventure but also an enriching personal experience. With this award, the Leonardo Committee celebrates the achievements of her extraordinary career and her talent at creating unique synergies between the worlds of fashion, culture and sports, thereby making a substantial contribution in promoting Italian excellence around the globe.

The Leonardo Committee, which is currently headed by President Luisa Todini, was established in 1993 with the objective of promoting and affirming “Italian Quality” in the world. The name ‘Leonardo’ brings to mind the magical alchemy between art, science and technology: three forms of expression of human intellectual capacity that reflect the success of Italy on an international level.
The Committee, to which ICE (Italian Institute of Foreign Trade) and Confindustria provide operative support, is an initiative of a group of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, and cultural figures who want to share this objective of promoting Italy and its originality through high-profile cultural and economic events.

In past editions, the Leonardo Award was given to Leonardo del Vecchio, Giovanni Agnelli, Francesco Rosi, Renato Ruggiero, Sergio Pininfarina, Renzo Piano, Umberto Veronesi, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Gilberto Benetton, Vittorio Merloni, Alessandro Profumo, Giorgio Armani, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Pierfrancesco Guarguaglini, and Gianfelice Rocca. President Napolitano called these awardees “ambassadors of the image of Italy around the globe” for their valuable international role and for the results achieved that demonstrate Italian excellence and enterprise.