World renowned fashion designer, Oscar de la Renta has passed away at the age of 82. In a handwritten statement from two company executives, Eliza Bolen and Alex Bolen, he died in his Connecticut home last night surrounded by family members, close friends, and his beloved dogs.
The statement went on to say that while de la Renta is gone, his spirit and intelligence remains the company’s core and that everything the company has done and will continue to do is driven by the designer’s values. The Bolens added that he was loved and every employee will work hard make him proud.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Oscar de la Renta dressed many famous Hollywood celebrities to include Sarah Jessica Parker, Taylor Swift, Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz, and others. He was also the obvious choice by first ladies like Nancy Reagan, Jackie Kennedy, Laura Bushy, Hilary Clinton, and Betty Ford. However, his fashions are also popular among everyday women.
Just last month, Oscar de la Renta designed the gorgeous wedding gown worn by Amal Alamuddin, George Clooney’s new wife. As stated by former first lady Laura Bush, his generous and warm personality, unrivaled talent, and charm will be greatly missed. He will always be remembered as a gifted fashion designer who made women look and feel beautiful.
Although Oscar de la Renta’s primary design aesthetic was evening gowns, he also created beautiful and chic daytime suits. While some of his designs were subtle, he often used vibrant colors and exquisite embroideries, influenced by his native country.
At age 18, de la Renta left home to study painting in Spain but within a short time, fashion became his true passion. After viewing some of his sketches, the wife of the US Ambassador to Spain asked if he would design a dress for her daughter. De la Renta complied and that very dress made the cover of Life Magazine.
With his impeccable work exposed to the world, de la Renta was offered an apprenticeship with Cristobal Balenciaga. Once completed, he moved to France where he began working for Lanvin, which creates couture designs. From there, he went to work for for Elizabeth Arden couture in New York in 1963 but just two years later, launched his own brand.
In addition to his beautiful fashion designs, de la Renta launched numerous perfumes, starting in 1977 with Oscar and more recently, his Rosamor fragrance. He was also a patron of the arts, serving on several boards to include The Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall.
Oscar de la Renta also leaves a legacy of having a love for children. Much of his time was devoted to various charities such as New Yorkers for Children but he also funded multiple daycare centers and schools in Punta Cana and La Romana in his native Dominican Republic.
Oscar de la Renta is survived only by an adopted son, Moises, who currently works as a designer for the company.