Oscar de la Renta legendary fashion designer, has died aged 82. The acclaimed designer has dressed leading ladies of stage and screen and every first lady since Jackie Kennedy.
The designer’s cause of his death was not announced by family, however, it is known that the designer was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, despite stating last year that he was “totally clean,” reported CNN.
De la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic in 1932 , he was the only son of seven children. He left for Spain to study at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid even though his father had different aspirations for him, he did so at 18 years old,.
For a time De la Renta attempted to become an abstract painter – but he soon realized that fashion was his true calling. The designer’s climb to the heights of the fashion industry began when the wife of the U.S Ambassador to Spain saw his dress sketches, and commissioned him to make a gown for her daughter. After which the dress appeared on the cover of Life magazine,signalling the beginning of an illustrious career.
De la renta accepted an apprenticeship with Spain’s acclaimed Cristobal Balenciaga, a job at Lanvin in Paris, and a stint as designer for Elizabeth Arden in New York, before he launched his own eponymous label in 1965. From 1993 to 2002, de la Renta designed the haute couture collection for the house of Balmain, and become the first Dominican to design for a French couture house. In 2006, the Oscar de la Renta label diversified into bridal wear.
Recently, his, company, announced Peter Copping as its new creative director. “Our industry has not always done the best job when it comes to changes in design leadership. My hope is that, in leading this selection, and actively participating in the transition, I can insure the right design future for our company and brand,” de la Renta said in a recent statement.
De la Renta was married for 16 years to former editor of French Vogue, Francoise de Langlade, who died of cancer in 1983. He is survived by his second wife, Annette Engelhard Reed, and one son.
Photo/drawing Artlyst based on photo by Matti Hillig Creative Commons