Beautiful, chic, intelligent, and charismatic, Paquin was herself the best publicist for her own style. She always wore her own designs, and, widely admired by the public, was the first woman to become a fashion icon, establishing the precedent for Gabrielle Chanel. Equally acclaimed for her business skills, she received numerous awards and appointments, all firsts for a woman in her time. In 1900 her fellow couturiers selected her to head their first collective public display of couture at the great Paris Universal Exposition. She was awarded the Order of Leopold II of Belgium in 1910 and the prestigious Légion d'honneur in the field of commerce in 1913, and was elected president of the Chambre syndicale de la couture, the official organization of Parisian couturiers, in 1917.
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