Fashion industry lost one of its true legends, Oscar de la Renta—one of the most iconic designers of our time—passed away yesterday at 82. The Dominican-born fashion designer, the “sultan of suave” became famous in the 1960s for dressing Jackie Kennedy, later dressing several other First Ladies, including Hillary Clinton and most recently Michelle Obama, and Hollywood celebrities.
The “Guru of Glamour,” was the first American to become the top designer of a French fashion house. As head of Paris-based Balmain for 10 years and for his own label, de la Renta produced evening gowns and dresses that seemed ubiquitous on the cover of Vogue magazine and on the red carpet at the Academy Awards, competing with the likes of Valentino for a high-society clientele. Around the world, his closest friends are paying tributes to a beloved friend. See a few here
His blend of European luxury clothing with American casual wear was worn by models Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford in the 1990s, by actresses Penelope Cruz, Sarah Jessica Parker and Anne Hathaway, and by royalty. Archduchess Maria of Austria wore a de la Renta gown for her 1996 wedding and Queen Noor of Jordan was photographed in his designs for Vogue in 2003. Undoubtedly, Oscar de la Renta’s best red carpet moments!
In 2001, De La Renta’s dressed Laura Bush in a silver long-sleeved gown for George W. Bush’s inauguration, and Hillary Clinton in a gold cape over a gold long-sleeve gown for the 1997 presidential inauguration ball. “I still remember when Hillary walked out in that gown,” former U.S. President Bill Clinton said in the video tribute. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, that’s beautiful.’ I still think it’s probably the best gift Oscar ever gave us, beyond his friendship.” Moments like those, will remain forever in Oscar de la Renta’s most memorables ones!
Known for ultra-feminine silhouettes and gorgeous, ethereal designs, full of intricate details and stunning colors, de la Renta was one of the industry’s top designers for several decades, a difficult feat in the fickle fashion world. “He was a tremendous support to me when others weren’t and mentored me from the start of my career,” says Rachel.
De la Renta followed his vision through until the very end, making headlines just last month for designing Amal Clooney’s stunning wedding gown, for her Venice-set nuptials to George Clooney.
Below it is the official company statement about De La Renta’s death: