The Iconic Life of Oscar

He was a brilliant designer who seemed to live a charmed life; the world was truly gifted by the genius of Oscar de la Renta.

Oscar de la Renta (1932-2014)

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He dressed four American first ladies, numerous A-list actresses, and his name will forever be synonymous with beautiful dresses. At age 82, legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta succumbed to his long-time battle with cancer in Kent, Connecticut.

Born in Santo Domingo on July 22, 1932, Mr. de la Renta was the only boy and youngest of seven children. His father had plans for him to join him in the insurance business, but the budding designer had a more creative vision for his life and convinced his mother to send him to Madrid to study art. At the age of 19, he decided to go to Spain where his love of design evolved from humble beginnings; sketching clothes for newspapers and fashion houses. Famous design houses we know today such as Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Christian Dior, all have in common the early acquaintance of the man who would go on to reach an unprecedented level of fashion success that would expand decades.

vintage-model-karlVintage Oscar de la Renta

sarah-jessica-parker-in-oscar-de-la-renta-and-fred-leightonActress Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de la Renta

The always relevant designer began his career in the 1950’s, even expanding his empire to include furniture 2002. His 100 pieces for Century Furniture featured dining tables, upholstered chairs and couches. In 2004, despite the risk of lessening the value of his brand as a whole, he added a less expensive line of clothing called O Oscar – to attract new customers whom he could not reach before.

Besides his passion for haute couture, de la Renta was also patron of the arts. Having served on the boards of The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and Channel Thirteen/WNET, his tireless support also extended to several cultural institutions, including New Yorkers for Children, the Americas Society and the Spanish Institute.

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Resort 2015 Oscar de la Renta

The world of fashion will truly miss de la Renta’s innovative talent, but his legend will live on forever in the beautiful garments he left behind.

Images courtesy of:  http://julianaughton.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/wheres-your-blazer-from-oh-its-vintage/; www.oscardelarenta.com; Getty Images


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