Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta
Born July 22, 1932 (1932-07-22) (age 79)
Dominican Republic
Nationality Dominican/United States
Occupation Fashion designer

CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award,

American Fashion Critic's Award, Order of Juan Pablo Duarte,

Order of Cristóbal Colón
Labels Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta (born July 22, 1932) is one of the world's leading fashion designers. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1973.[1]



In 1963, torn between designing custom clothing for Elizabeth Arden as well as designing shoes and accessories, and designing ready-to-wear for Christian Dior-New York, de la Renta turned for advice to Diana Vreeland, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, saying that what he really wanted was to "get into ready to wear, because that's where the money is". Vreeland replied, "Then go to Arden because you will make your reputation faster. She is not a designer, so she will promote you. At the other place, you will always be eclipsed by the name of Dior."[2] De la Renta proceeded to work for Arden for two years before he in 1965 went to work for Jane Derby and launched his own label. When Derby died in August 1965 Oscar de la Renta took over the label.[3]

In 2006 Oscar de la Renta designed Tortuga Bay, a boutique hotel at PUNTACANA Resort and Club. Tortuga Bay is a Leading Small Hotel of the World and a member of Virtuoso.

He was one of the three major protégés of Baron de Gunzburg; the others were Bill Blass and Calvin Klein.[4]

Two of his major competitors are Carolina Herrera and Carmen Marc Valvo.

Awards, honors, philanthropic endeavors

De la Renta's talents receive continual international recognition. Among them, he received the Council of Fashion Designers Designer of the Year Award in 2000 and in 2007 (tied with Proenza Schouler). In February 1990, he was honored with the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award. From 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988, he served as President of the CFDA. He is also a two-time winner of the American Fashion Critic's Award and was inducted into the Fame in 1973. In 1968 he got the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award

From 1993 to 2002, Oscar de la Renta designed the haute couture collection for the house of Balmain (fashion house), becoming the first Dominican to design for a French couture house. In 1993, de la Renta was recognized with an award by the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute at their annual gala dinner held in New York.

The Dominican Republic has also honored him with the Order of Juan Pablo Duarte and the Order of Cristóbal Colón. De la Renta has contributed extensively in the construction of a much needed school near his home at the Punta Cana Resort and Club in Punta Cana.

De la Renta serves as a board member of the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and WNET. He also serves on the boards of several charitable institutions such as New Yorkers for Children, the America's Society, and is presently chairman of the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute.

His clothes have been worn by many celebrities, including Gloria Guinness, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush, Jenna Bush, Tina Fey and Megan Fox.


De la Renta was solely a Dominican citizen, due to a previous U.S. law prohibiting dual-citizenship. He renounced his Dominican citizenship in 1971 (a formality required by the U.S., given that Dominican citizenship is non-renounceable) when he was naturalized as a United States citizen. Although he was offered the post of Dominican ambassador to the United States, de la Renta refused the position because of his newly acquired citizenship.


In 1967, de la Renta became the third husband of Françoise de Langlade (1931–1983), an editor-in-chief of French Vogue who once worked for the fashion house of Elsa Schiaparelli. She previously was married to businessman Jean Bruère and diplomat Nicholas Bagenow. After her third marriage, Françoise de la Renta worked as a consultant to Elizabeth Arden, became a prominent hostess, had their Manhattan apartment decorated by Denning & Fourcade,[5] and later opened her own decorating business (among her clients were Florinda Bolkan and Helmut Berger). Of her approach to fashion, she once said, "Oscar is not my favorite designer–just one of them." As The New York Times noted after her death, "She was also widely credited for some of the successes of her husband, the fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. Although she was not active in his business, she attracted many of the rich and famous to his shows."[6][7]

In 1989, the designer married Annette Reed (born 1939). She is the former wife of American Heritage magazine publisher Samuel Pryor Reed and is the only child of German banker Dr. Fritz Mannheimer and his wife, Marie Annette Reiss.

De la Renta has stepchildren from both marriages. He also has an adopted son, Moises de la Renta.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Vanity Fair
  2. ^ Morris, Bernadine, "Diana Vreeland, Editor, Dies; Voice of Fashion for Decades", The New York Times, 23 August 1989, page A1
  3. ^ Kent University Museum
  4. ^ Dupont, Ronald J, Jr. (1991). "Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg". The Vernon Stories of Jacobus Van Brug. http://www.vernonstories.com/. Retrieved 9 July 2006. 
  5. ^ "In the de la Renta Fashion" by John Richardson, House & Garden, December 1985
  6. ^ Nemy, Enid, "Françoise de la Renta, 62, a Leader in Fashion", The New York Times, 18 June 1983, page 11.
  7. ^ Gruson, Lindsey, "Françoise de la Renta, Editor, Lauded by Kissinger at Mass", The New York Times, 14 September 1983, page B7.
  8. ^ Dynatsty from New York Magazine 21 May 2005

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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