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Narciso Rodriguez cited as top fashion designer

May 1, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez will receive a National Design Award this year from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, along with 10 other top names in design.

Rodriguez designed the black and red dress worn by first lady Michelle Obama in Chicago on election night in 2008. The dress recently went on display at the National Archives to represent her signature style. Earlier, Rodriguez designed Carolyn Bessette’s wedding dress for her 1996 marriage to John F. Kennedy Jr.

IN an email to the AP, Rodriguez said he was “elated and moved” by the honor. “It means so much to me to have my work recognized by an institution that I hold in such high regard,” he said.

Asked to characterize what he considers to be his contributions to American style and design, Rodriguez said: “I have always been passionate about process and craft. My focus is to make clothes that celebrate women and are relevant to the way we live.”

The New York City-based Cooper Hewitt museum announced this year’s recipients of the National Design Awards on Thursday. The first lady serves as honorary patron of the National Design Awards, which were launched at the White House in 2000.

A jury of design leaders and educators reviews nominations and selects winners.

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