Oscar De La Renta
The name Oscar de la Renta is synonymous with enduring originality in fashion, and his work deeply influenced other designers throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Vintage Oscar de la Renta evening dresses and gowns — which often feature ruffles, dazzling prints, vibrant colors and dramatic silhouettes — exude elegant sophistication and femininity, while his exquisite scarves and shoes rounded out his sought-after collections.
De la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic in 1932. He was the youngest of seven children, the rest of whom were girls. At the age of 18, he left home for Madrid and studied painting at the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts. A natural talent for illustration earned him an apprenticeship with the legendary Spanish fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga.
In 1961, de la Renta visited Paris, where he was hired as a couture assistant at Lanvin. Less than two years later, he moved to New York City. He designed a ready-to-wear collection for Elizabeth Arden and partnered with Jane Derby. He also began designing dresses for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. When Derby died in 1965, the label was named after de la Renta (he took full control in the 1970s). Shortly after, he married an editor-in-chief of French Vogue, Françoise de Langlade, whose own career in fashion began at Elsa Schiaparelli’s fashion house.
De la Renta served as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America from 1973–76, and again from 1986–88. In 1981, the tradition of de la Renta dressing First Ladies continued. He quickly became one of Nancy Reagan’s favorite designers (as well as her lifelong friend).
De la Renta expanded his clothing lines throughout the 1990s but kept true to his feminine, polished style. He also continued to design for the First Ladies of the United States, and his pieces were worn by both Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. At Balmain, de la Renta was the first Dominican to design for a French couture house.
Over the course of his career, de la Renta earned the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award, the Coty Award and the Fragrance Foundation’s Perennial Success Award. He passed away in 2014.
In 2015, the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Fashion + Film showcased more than 80 of de la Renta's gowns at its inaugural exhibit.
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Early 2000s American Oscar De La Renta
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Oscar De La Renta fashion for sale on 1stDibs
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022The co-creative directors of Oscar de la Renta are Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia. This creative-directing duo were named to the position in 2016 after the departure of Peter Copping, who was appointed creative director after de la Renta’s death in 2014. On 1stDibs, you'll find authentic Oscars de la Renta pieces from top sellers worldwide.
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- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022The designer Oscar de la Renta made his international debut in 1965 with his own ready-to-wear line. de la Renta was one of Jacqueline Kennedy's couturiers, and he worked with brands like Balmain and Harrods. On 1stDibs, you can find vintage or modern Oscar de la Renta pieces from top sellers worldwide.
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- Who is Oscar de la Renta?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Oscar de la Renta was a well-known fashion designer who became internationally renowned in the 1960s for being one of Jacqueline Kennedy’s designers. His full name is Oscar Aristides Ortiz de la Renta and he was born in 1932 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. De la Renta passed away in 2014 after firmly establishing his clothing line as highly desirable and luxe with both couture and ready-to-wear options. Find vintage and contemporary Oscar de la Renta items from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
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