Photography ~ Legendary Fashion Icon

Born in Santo Domingo, a renowned fashion icon died today at the age 82.

Known for his flare and style for the female figure, Oscar de la Renta clothed celebrity stars and royals over the years.

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Renowned fashion designer, Oscar de la Renta. Credit: Bergdorf Goodman.

In his early days, Oscar de la Renta studied painting at the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, Spain. As a quick learner, De la Renta became¬†fascinated by the fashion industry. Oscar’s¬†cuts, drapes and sketches gained him an apprenticeship with Cristobal Balenciaga. It was known that Oscar said, ” I design clothes for women to wear, I am not interested in shock tactics. I just want to make beautiful clothes.” Soon the Spanish house became his experimental creative world where he sent ideas to clients and built relationships with female presidential and ambassadors figures. Soon enough, Oscar left Spain to work as an assistant to Antonio del Castillo at Lanvin in Paris. It was a first to be in France loving the city of lights.

Wise words from the red carpet king include, “Style begins by looking good naked. It’s a discipline. And if you don’t dress well everyday, you lose habit. It’s not about what you wear, but about how you live your life.” And it was clear when Oscar took advice from Diana¬†Vreeland to promote his reputation through working with Elizabeth Arden. By 1965, De la Renta proceeded to work for Seventh Avenue of Jane Derby. When she passed away, he took over the label. Following that, Oscar de la Renta starting his own label loved by many globally. In 1967 and 1968, Oscar won the Coty Award allowing him to become president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

More than amazed, De la Renta launched his own fragrance, OSCAR in 1977 as well as an accessories line in 2001. Oscar de la Renta received a CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990. Meanwhile, De la Renta was designing for the house of Balmain from 1993 to 2002. What’s more, honorable awards of recognition were presented by King Juan Carlos of Spain, the French government and of course the Dominican Republic.

Then from international exposure in 2003, Oscar de la Renta expanded his markets for ready-to-wear lines in retail boutiques, online and exclusive wholesale partnerships. All you had to do was say Oscar and everyone knew who you were referring to, especially when it came to bridal wear a niche market which he continues to dominate annually.

Also, Oscar served as a board member at the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, WNET and chairman at the Queen Sophia Spanish Institute. There are moments of magic sometimes from people in high places. Oscar de la Renta founded Casa del Ni√Īo¬†orphanage in La Romana. Additionally, this past summer I visited¬†one of my favorite boutique hotels, Tortuga Bay which was designed by Oscar de la Renta in Punta Cana. I loved the Dominican atmosphere and environment.

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Oscar Quote. Credit: T Magazine.

It’s the same warmth and admiration felt for numerous looks and pieces throughout Oscar de la Renta’s ready-to-wear and bridal collections. Oscar once said, “The qualities I most admire in women is confidence and kindness.” The fashion community truly mourns today as a one of the most inspiring fashion creatives is gone but will forever be remembered.