De la Renta was born on July the 22nd 1936 in the Dominican Republic. At the age of 18 he left home to travel to Spain, where he would pursue his dream of becoming an artist. When arriving in Madrid he started studying painting and artistry in the Academy of San Fernando. During his first years in Madrid, while studying painting he became interested in fashion and so, a new passion was born. With a little luck and a lot of talent, he was soon sketching for some of the biggest fashion houses in Spain. An apprenticeship followed shortly, Cristobal Balenciaga had spotted de la Renta and decided to become his mentor.
After the time he spent in the fashion house of Balenciaga he changed the scene a little by moving to Paris and scoring a new job –as a couture assistant in Lanvin.
After spending some time in Paris, working with Antonio Castillo on Lanvin, De la Renta then took off to New York to work for Elizabeth Arden. After Arden, Oscar de la Renta decided it was time to take the risk and opened his own fashion house. The fashion house he opened in 1965 concentrated on ready-to-wear clothes.
Ever since it was created, the Oscar de la Renta fashion house has earned many loyal clients with its luxurious designs which were then only for the rich and famous.
Apart from the ready-to-wear line de la Renta launches each year, he has also branched out by selling eyewear, sleepwear, swimwear, perfumes, linens, wedding dresses, jewellery and lingerie.
The first fragrance the designer launched is called “Oscar”. It came out in 1977 and was a huge success; it was even awarded the Fragrance Foundation Perennial Success Award in 1991.
Back in the Dominican Republic, Oscar is a well-known member and a vivid social figure. In 1996 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hispanic Heritage Society.
Photo Gallery (Designs and logo of Oscar de la Renta)
Click to enlarge pictures