Today Oscar is remembered as one of the brightest designers to grace fashion with an illustrious career stretching five decades. Oscar dressed every first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy including Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and more recently, Michelle Obama. From Oprah Winfrey and Amy Adams to Penelope Cruz and Amal Alamuddin, Oscar's designs graced celebrities and socialites with their voluminous skirts, elaborate embroidery and vivid colors. "I like light, color, luminosity. I like things full of color and vibrant," he once said.
Oscar was born Oscar Arístides Renta Fiallo on July 22, 1932 in the Dominican Republic. He discovered his love for fashion while studying abstract art at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. It was there that he completed an apprenticeship with famed Spanish designer, Cristóbal Balenciaga, who founded Balenciaga fashion house. Soon after he took his talents to the fashion mecca, Paris, where he was offered a job at the fashion house of Lanvin.
In 1963 Oscar moved to New York to work as a designer for Elizabeth Arden couture. This position would help catapult his solo design career by teaching him how to tailor garments. Two years later, the Oscar de la Renta brand debuted and forever changed the world of fashion with upscale ready-to-wear clothing for women. He later added fragrance, home décor and furniture to his ever growing brand.
Just last week Oscar personally appointed British designer, Peter Copping, as creative director of the company. Oscar passed away on Monday after a long battle with cancer. He was 82 years old.