When you enter or exit the airport in the Dominican Republic there is a prominent photo displayed of Oscar de la Renta. Oscar is an icon in the world of fashion for his sartorial splendor and as a hero in the of the Dominican Republic for his benevolence. He founded an orphanage called Casa del Niño in La Romana, Dominican Republic, and adopted his son Moises from an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. The Queen Sofía Spanish Institute is an organization in New York City founded in 1954 conceived of by their Chairman, Oscar de la Renta.
Oscar de la Renta passes away on October 21, 2014 at the age of 82. His funeral was attended by Hillary Clinton, Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino, and numerous celebrities and fashion industry icons. Oscar said, “My father had different aspirations for me than I had for myself,” he told the “Fashion Talks” audience. “If I ever told my father I would become a fashion designer, he would drop dead on the spot.”
Oscar spent nearly half a century producing haute couture garments for every first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy, dressing celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Ann Hathaway, and the current United States presidential family Mrs. Michelle and Mr. Barack Obama. Oscar often referred to as “the sultan of suave,” displays the his fashion genius on the cover of the September 2014 issue of Vogue. Oscar graced the cover with the dress he created for Amal Alamuddin for her wedding nuptials to A-list actor George Clooney. Oscar said, “My father had different aspirations for me than I had for myself,” he told the “Fashion Talks” audience. “If I ever told my father I would become a fashion designer, he would drop dead on the spot.”
A chronological history of the late Oscar de la Renta:
- 1932 – Oscar de la Renta was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic the only son of seven children
- 1950s- Left the Dominican Republic to study painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid, Spain; he worked in the Madrid salon of Cristobal Balenciaga where he sketched dresses to send to clients; he produces a dress for the daughter of the United States ambassador to Spain and the dress lands on the cover page of Life magazine
- 1960s- Hired by Lanvin; Works for Elizabeth Arden; Joins 7th Avenue New York City partnership with Jane Derby; Designs wedding dress for Anne Ford (the Ford heiress); Oscar starts his own fashion line; Married Françoise de Langlade, a former magazine editor
- 1970s- Received the Coty Hall of Fame Award; Became president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America; Launched the Oscar fragrance is a big success
- 1980s- Posed with his wife, Françoise, for the cover of The New York Times Magazine with the headline “Living Well Is Still the Best Revenge.”; he redesigns the Boy Scout uniform; Mrs. de la Renta died of cancer; Adopted his son, Moises; president of the CFDA for the second time; Nancy Reagan wore one of Mr. de la Renta’s designs at the president’s dinner in 1988; Mrs. Reed Weds Oscar de la Renta: Lifetime achievement award by the CFDA
- 1990s- Becomes the first American fashion designer to show at Paris Fashion Week; worked for Balmain- a haute couture fashion house that was founded by Pierre Balmain; made his debut as a couture designer in Paris, showing a collection for Pierre Balmain; he helped Hillary Rodham Clinton streamline her style with signature pantsuits in bright pastels. “He’s been working for 20 years to turn me into a fashion icon,” she said; Mrs. Clinton posed on a Vogue cover wearing one of Mr. de la Renta’s designs
- 2000s- Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in the “Sex and the City” series, wore one of Mr. de la Renta’s designs; designed Laura Bush’s inaugural gown; introduces his first ready-to-wear bridal collection; incorporates modern materials, such as plastic and sequins that looked like computer chips, into his spring 2009 collection; Ann Romney wore an Oscar de la Renta dress from the pre-fall 2012 collection that her husband’s advisers opposed, starting a debate on whether her clothing selection affected her husband’s campaign; received Founders Award from the CFDA presented to him by Hillary Clinton; presented the fall 2013 line that John Galliano helped design (helping Galliano back into the fashion world after his controversial statements …); created the ivory tulle gown that Amal Alamuddin wore to marry George Clooney in Venice; Michelle Obama finally wore a dress designed by Mr. de la Renta; names Peter Copping as creative director of Oscar de la Renta; died at home in Kent, Connecticut.