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Oscar de la Renta

A closer look into the life of a fashion icon

At the age of 18, Oscar de la Renta left his native Dominican Republic to study painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid.  While living in Spain, he became interested in the world of design and began sketching for leading Spanish fashion houses, which soon led to an apprenticeship with Spain’s most renowned couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga.

In 1963, Mr. de la Renta went to New York to design the couture collection for Elizabeth Arden.  In 1965, he began his signature ready-to-wear label.

In the Fall 2001 runway show, the Oscar de la Renta Accessories collection debuted; which included bags, belts, and shoes.

The world of Oscar de la Renta also includes cosmetic cases, eyewear, furs, jewelry, lingerie, scarves, and sleepwear. For men, Mr. de la Renta licenses products, including hosiery, sport coats, suits, and trousers.

In 2002, Oscar de la Renta Home debuted a furniture and home fragrance collection. Since then tabletop, decorative fabrics, wallpaper, bedding, rugs and decorative accents have been added to this prestigious collection.

In the fall of 2006, Oscar de la Renta launched O Oscar, a better women’s sportswear collection.  Most recently, shoes, sunglasses, and jewelry have been added to the brand.  In 2007, the label expanded further to include O Oscar men’s tailored clothing. 

Oscar de la Renta debuted his first perfume, Oscar, in 1977. Today, Oscar is a bestseller in over 70 countries and winner of the 1991 Fragrance Foundation Perennial Success Award.  In the fall of 1999, Oscar de la Renta introduced Oscar for Men. In 2004, Oscar de la Renta introduced Rosamor, his latest fragrance for women.

In 2000, Mr. de la Renta received the Gold Medal of Bellas Artes from the King of Spain. He also helped build a much-needed school and day-care centre in the Dominican Republic for more than 1200 children.

Oscar de la Renta has received continual international recognition. Below is a list of some of his achievements:
- Co-recipient of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2007
- Lifetime Achievement Award at Parsons’ 58th Annual Benefit and Fashion Show in 2006
- CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award in 2000
- CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990
- Two-time winner of the Coty American Fashion Critic’s Award
- Inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame in 1973

From 1993 -2002 Oscar de la Renta designed the haute couture collection for the house of Pierre Balmain, becoming the first American ever to design for a French couture house.

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2009 Bridal Collection