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Top Designers: Oscar de la Renta.

22 july 1932  -  20 october 2014   D ominican born and New York-based fashion designer Oscar de la Renta was born in 22 of July 1932 from an aristrocatic family....

22 july 1932  -  20 october 2014


Dominican born and New York-based fashion designer Oscar de la Renta was born in 22 of July 1932 from an aristrocatic family. Being the youngest of 7 siblings and only boy, he was always surrounded by a smart, intellectual and entrepenurial family: his father, originally from Puerto Rico, owned an insurance company; while his mother, of spanish origin, belonged to a family of poets, scholars and business-minded people. One of Oscar's uncles, Aristides Fiallo was an architect, doctor and a lawyer, plus some other degrees from University of Santo Domingo.

So it all but surprising that Oscar de la Renta had a vein for talent, determination and stickler for perfection. Not to mention the impeccable taste for the finest goods and all things... whatchamacallit? Oh yes, wealthy.

At the age of 19 Oscar goes to Madrid, Spain to study painting at the Academy of San Fernando where he makes little jobs for magazines and designs houses sketching clothes to earn some extra cash.

One of those designs was spotted by Francesca Lodge, the then wife of the US ambassador to Spain, who asks De la Renta to design a gown for her daughter. This dress was published in Life magazine a few weeks later, increasing Oscar's popularity and opening the chance for an apprenticeship at the established fashion house of Cristobal Balenciaga (click HERE to read more about Balenciaga).

Oscar de la Renta proved his talents and skills so well, that Balenciaga himself took him under his wing becoming his mentor. He passed into his pupil the secrets to achieve flawless, impeccable and perfect wear.

In 1961 he swaped Spain for France to join Lanvin as a couture assistant, but what the designer really wanted was to open his own label and turn into ready-to-wear. So he took advice from Diana Vreeland, who recommended him to work for Arden in New York, where he stayed until 1965, the year his opens his own label partnering with designer Jane Derby. But she passed away on August that same year and the label "De la Renta for Jane Derby" was changed in 1966 to just Oscar de la Renta, as it is until now.

Oscar de la Renta with three models wearing his 1972 fall collection.

From 1993 to 2002 he was the designer for the House of Balmain, becoming the first Dominican to design for a French House.

He accepted the challenge of achieving a practical approach to haute couture, in a time when this line was suffering a set back due to its impracticality but De la Renta with his eye for detail, silhouette and exemplary tailoring, helped the brand to recover from a period of dullness after the passing of Pierre Balmain in 1982. Image: OdelaR 2001 for Balmain.

He married in 1967 to Francoise de Langlade, editor in chief for Vogue France. They stayed together until she unfortunately died in 1983 of bone cancer. After the tragic event, the designer adopted his son Moises de la Renta.

He remarried in 1989 to Annette Engelhard, with whom he stayed with until his passing.

He had stepchildren from both marriages and they work for the company: CEO Alex Bolen is his son-in-law and step-daughter, Eliza Bolen is Vice President of Licensing.

In 2006 he launched his bridal collection and has been since then preferred by celebrities and most fashinable women around the globe. The last-most popular was the wedding gown he designed for Amal Clooney, an off-shoulder gown hand stitched with thousands of pearls and crystals.

The Ad Campaigns for Bridal wear follow the same concept as the RTW collection, but these ones reflect more the elegance and delicacy of every woman who chooses an Oscar de la Renta design for her big day.

Oscar de la Renta's Bridal Spring 2015 Collection:

Latest Bridal Collection for Fall 2015:

It's kind of unnecessary to cite De la Renta's client list as we all know it includes the 'top of the cream' of socialite, Hollywood and fashion world. But then we would't be giving him the credit he deserves as he remained in the preference of the crowds all throughout the decades of his career. First ladies: Jacquie kennedy, Laura Bush, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. Celebrities: Audrey Hepburn, Sarah Jessica Parker (No. 1 fan), Amy Adams, Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift, Emma Watson... and this list is almost never ending.

Some of our favorite Ad Campaigns:

It was announced on Oct. 14, just a week before De la Renta passed away that Peter Copping, ex-Nina Ricci's designer, as the creative brain for the brain of the Fashion House. From now on and until further notice, the runway collections will be under his innovative direction. The legacy that Oscar de la Renta leaves behind is enormous and those shoes will be extremely hard to fill, but we wish the best to Mr. Copping who already has lots of experience himself and of whom we will be writing soon.

Latest and Last Collection:

Spring 2015 New York Fashion Week.

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