The fashion industry has lost a legend. Last night, Oscar de la Renta passed away at the age of 82. Today, we celebrate the talented designer with a look back at his momentous career spanning more than five decades.
Oscar de la Renta began his love affair with fashion at the tender age of 18, while studying painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. Soon after, he landed a prestigious internship at Balenciaga and a position as couture assistant at Lanvin under Antonio del Castillo. In 1963, upon the advice of Vogue editrix Diana Vreeland, de la Renta secured a design job at Arden for two years to try his hand at ready-to-wear. Two years later, he decamped to take over Jane Derby and launch his signature line. His love for couture always remained, however. He returned to the sector from 1993 to 2002 to design the haute couture collections for Balmain.
Throughout his almost 50-year career, the dynamic designer dressed everyone from First Ladies to Hollywood’s most notable celebs — all while expanding his company into a full-fledged lifestyle brand; he debuted fragrance in 1977, accessories in 2001, home goods in 2002 and bridal in 2006. Preciously, he’s designed bridal under the ODLR signature collection.
The designer’s talent was recognized near and far. He received the Coty Award in 1967 and 1968, took home the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990 and was named ambassador-at-large in his motherland, the Dominican Republic.
Click on the slideshow below for a retrospective of de la Renta’s career.