Oscar de la Renta is a US fashion designer currently viewed as one of the world’s leading designers in the industry. He was born the Dominican Republic of Santo Domingo on July 22, 1932. His mother is of Dominican descent while his father is Puerto Rican. At the age of 18, he left the comfort of his own home to pursue painting at the Academy in Madrid Spain known as the Academy of San Fernando. It was in this Academy that he discovered his talent and interest in the arts. His talents led him to one of Spain’s most well-known couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, who took him under his wing.
In 1963, Oscar de la Renta made a decision to move to New York in order to design clothing for Canadian businesswoman Elizabeth Arden. It was said that he had the option of either working for Elizabeth Arden or for the popular Christian Dior brand. They say that he chose to work for Elisabeth Arden because of the assumption that working for such a big brand such as Christian Dior would only eclipse Oscar dela Renta’s talents. Two years after, dela Renta worked for American fashion designer Jane Derby of Jane Derby. Inc. Upon her death on August 1965, Oscar dela Renta took over the brand renaming it Oscar de la Renta from Jane Derby.
In 1967, he married Françoise de Langlade, the editor in chief of French Vogue at the time. She passed away in 1983; De la Renta then remarried to Annette Reed in 1989.
In 1971, dela Renta renounced his Dominican citizenship in order to be naturalized as an American citizen. Because of his newly acquired citizenship, he refused the offer of the position of Dominican ambassador to the United States.
Oscar dela Renta is a big name in the world of fashion. He has been widely recognized by the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) for his works. He has won a number of prestigious awards and honors such as the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award, and the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award on February 1990. He also won the American Fashion Critic’s Award twice.
For his philanthropic work towards his fellow citizens, aiding in the construction of a much needed school, the Dominican Republic honored him with the Order of Juan Pablo Duarte and the Order of Cristóbal Colón.
Oscar dela Renta presently lives at 550 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10018, U.S.A. he has stepchildren from both of his marriages including an adopted son Moises de la Renta.