Oscar de la Renta projected the elegance of the Caribbean to the world and personalities like Anna Wintour have praised his love for life and as he always reflected in his collections. Despite all the successes he achieved and the fascination he was subjected to, he always kept that modesty so characteristic. Today, we honor you with a journey through your career.
Oscar de la Renta was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1932. The ability to capture the feminine essence through his creations might have to do with having grown up surrounded by six sisters. As a Puerto Rican father and a dominican mother, he lived a childhood attached to the bullets of Gabriel García Márquez and marked by the vivid tonalities of Diego de Ribera.
In 1952 he traveled to Madrid to study abstract at the Royal School of Art of San Fernando in the Spanish capital. During his stay in the city, chance led to Cristobal Balenciaga, who would become his mentor.The young man began working at the workshop of the renowned designer, an opportunity that allowed him to make a custom sketch of Beatriz Lodge, Daughter of the then US ambassador to Spain, with which it will appear on the cover in Life magazine. That photograph became the center of all eyes and the name Oscar de la Renta began to echo in the elite of international fashion.
In 1961 he moved to Paris together with Antonio Castillo -assistant of Balenciaga- who accepted an offer at Casa Lanvin. De la Renta would work for two years with him until he decides to travel to New York and try luck. Once landed in the city of skyscrapers, Elizabeth Arden proposed to him for the post of creative director. This meant the beginning of an apotheotic career.
In 1967 he created the iconic brand with his name and obtuvoel respect for French, American and Spanish industry. In addition, that same year he would receive the prestigious Coty Award.
The femininity of his designs made him the most exponent in the industry. In fact, in 1981, he was appointed president of the Council of FashionDesigners in America (CFDA), an institution that aims to strengthen the impact of American fashion on the global economy.
The 1990s meant new changes for the designer. First, because he will incorporate Francisco Costa into the brand’s studio and, second, two years later he would be appointed creative director of Balmain, a position that lasted until 2003.
Oscar de la Renta has dressed almost all the first ladies: Jackie Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama… His designs often witness the most glamourous moments in the life of many women, such as those who carried Penelope Cruz or Jennifer Hudson in the 2009 Oscar Awards.The royal houses also rely on the creations of the house: Max Holland, Queen Letizia or Queen Emeritus Sofia.
In 2014, he designed the wedding dress that attorney Amal Alamuddin would wear in her commitment to actor George Clooney. Lupita N’yongo appeared in a designer dress in the 100 White House Correspondents Dinner. He also named Peter Copping as the company’s successor and, as of today’s year, died of cancer in Connecticut, USA.
With designs that are molded to the female figure she managed to raise the essence of beauty. With classic cuts, the dresses claim femininity in a sinuous, simple yet sophisticated way. The signature of Oscar de la Renta continues to be a reference in the world of fashion, faithful to the concept of its creator.
“The most important beauty is not that with which you were born, but the beauty of character which grows through a woman’s life and maybe never stops growing”