Oscar de la Renta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Óscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta by foto di matti.jpg
Óscar de la Renta at the Hotel Ritz, Madrid during a visit to Spain in 2008
Born Óscar Arístides de la Renta Fiallo
(1932-07-22) July 22, 1932 (age 82)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Nationality Dominican American
Occupation Fashion designer
Spouse(s) Françoise de Langlade (m. 1967; her death 1983)
Annette Engelhard (m. 1989)

CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award, American Fashion Critic's Award, Order of Juan Pablo Duarte,

Order of Cristóbal Colón
Labels Oscar de la Renta

Óscar Arístides Ortiz de la Renta Fiallo (born July 22, 1932)[1] is a Dominican American fashion designer. Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, De la Renta was trained by Cristóbal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo, he became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers to dress Jacqueline Kennedy. An award-winning designer, he worked for Lanvin and Balmain; his eponymous fashion house continues to dress leading figures, from film stars to royalty, into the 2010s. De la Renta is particularly known for his red carpet gowns and evening wear.

Early years[edit]

De la Renta was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to a Dominican mother with Spanish and Italian heritage, Carmen María Antonia Fiallo and a Puerto Rican father, Óscar Avelino de la Renta.[2][3] The Fiallos were so embedded in Dominican society that they could count poets, scholars, and businessmen as well as top army brass among their members.[4] One of María Antonia's brothers, Arístides Fiallo Cabral, was an intellectual – a doctor, lawyer, architect, and recipient of every degree the University of Santo Domingo could confer.[5] Another brother, Fabio Fiallo, was a diplomat and poet.[5] On his father's side, De la Renta's great great grandfather José Ortiz de la Renta was the first constitutional mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico to be elected by popular vote.[6] He served as mayor from 1812 to 1814, from 1815 to 1816, from 1820 to 1821, from 1823 to 1826, from 1837 to 1838, from 1842 to 1843, from 1843 to 1844, and 1846.[6] He had the distinction of having held the office of mayor of Ponce the most-eight times.[6]

At the age of 18, he left the Dominican Republic to study in Spain, where he studied painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid.[7] He quickly became interested in the world of fashion design and began sketching for leading Spanish fashion houses, which soon led to an apprenticeship with Spain's most renowned couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga. He considers Cristóbal Balenciaga his mentor.[8] Later, de la Renta left Spain to join Antonio del Castillo as a couture assistant at Lanvin in Paris.[2]


In 1963, de la Renta turned to Diana Vreeland, the editor-in-chief of Vogue for advice, saying that what he really wanted was to "get into ready to wear, because that's where the money is".[9] Vreeland replied, "Then go to Arden because you will make your reputation faster. She is not a designer, so she will promote you. At the other place, you will always be eclipsed by the name of Dior."[10] De la Renta proceeded to work for Arden for two years before he in 1965 went to work for Jane Derby and launched his own label.[11] When Derby died in August 1965 Oscar de la Renta took over the label.[12]

From 1993 to 2002, Oscar de la Renta designed the haute couture collection for the house of Balmain, becoming the first Dominican to design for a French couture house.[13] In 2006, the Oscar de la Renta label diversified into bridal wear.[14]

Oscar de la Renta has had the distinct honor of having his designs worn by a diverse group of distinguished women and celebrities.[2]

The Oscar de la Renta brand saw international wholesale growth beginning in 2003, under the direction of CEO Alex Bolen, from five to seventy five locations.[15] De la Renta's ready-to-wear designs are available in his retail stores, online, and with select wholesale partners worldwide.[16]

Other enterprises[edit]

In 1977, de la Renta launched his fragrance, OSCAR,[17] followed by an accessories line in 2001[18] and a homewares line in 2002.[19] The new business venture included 100 home furnishings for Century Furniture featuring dining tables, upholstered chairs, and couches. In 2004, he added a less expensive line of clothing called O Oscar. De la Renta said he wanted to attract new customers whom he could not reach before.[20]

In 2006 Oscar de la Renta designed Tortuga Bay, a boutique hotel at PUNTACANA Resort and Club. Tortuga Bay is a Leading Small Hotel of the World.[21] and a member of Virtuoso.[22]

Awards, honors, and philanthropic endeavors[edit]

Design awards[edit]

In 1967 and 1968, de la Renta won the Coty Award (the US fashion industry 'Oscars') and in 1973 was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame.[23]

From 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988, he served as President of the CFDA.[24] He is also a two-time winner of the American Fashion Critic's Award and was inducted into the Fame in 1973.[2]

De la Renta's talents receive continual international recognition. Among them, he received the Council of Fashion Designers Designer of the Year Award in 2000 and in 2007 (tied with Proenza Schouler). In February 1990, he was honored with the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award.[25] King Juan Carlos of Spain bestowed de la Renta with two awards, the Gold Medal of Bellas Artes and the La Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil.[2] He is recognized by the French government with the Légion d'honneur as a Commandeur.[2]

Other awards[edit]

The Dominican Republic has also honored him with the Order of Merit of Duarte, Sanchez and Mella and the Order of Christopher Columbus. De la Renta founded the Casa del Niño orphanage in La Romana[26] He has contributed extensively in the construction of a much needed school near his home at the Punta Cana Resort and Club in Punta Cana.[citation needed] Óscar de la Renta holds dual citizenship in the Dominican Republic and the United States.[5] He is an Ambassador-at-Large of the Dominican Republic.[27]

De la Renta serves as a board member of the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and WNET. He also serves on the boards of several charitable institutions such as New Yorkers for Children, the America's Society.

De la Renta is presently chairman of the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute.[2]

De la Renta received an honorary degree from Hamilton College (New York) on May 26, 2013.

In February 2014, Oscar de la Renta recreated his entire Spring presentation, Designed for A Cure 2014 collection, to raise money for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.[28]


In 1967, de Renta became the third husband of Françoise de Langlade (1921–1983),[29] an editor-in-chief of French Vogue who once worked for the fashion house of Elsa Schiaparelli. They were married until her death in 1983.

In 1989, the designer married Annette Engelhard (born 1939), daughter of Charles and Jane Engelhard.

De la Renta has stepchildren from both marriages. He also has an adopted son, Moises de la Renta.[30] His son-in-law Alex Bolen currently operates as Chief Executive Officer, and step-daughter Eliza Bolen serves as Vice President of Licensing, at Oscar de la Renta, LLC.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The World's Most Famous Dominican: Oscar de la Renta - Passport to... – Iberostar". Passportto.iberostar.com. 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Óscar de la Renta". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 1932". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Mower, Sarah (2002). Oscar: The Style, Inspiration and Life of Oscar De La Renta. New York: Assouline. p. 11. 
  5. ^ a b c Mower, Sarah (2002). Oscar: The Style, Inspiration and Life of Oscar De La Renta. New York: Assouline. p. 12. 
  6. ^ a b c Mower, Sarah (2002). Oscar: The Style, Inspiration and Life of Oscar De La Renta. New York: Assouline. 
  7. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 1950". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Feitelberg, Rosemary (7 November 2013). "Oscar de la Renta Sits for Q&A at the Design Leadership Summit". WWD. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 1963". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Morris, Bernadine, "Diana Vreeland, Editor, Dies; Voice of Fashion for Decades", The New York Times, 23 August 1989, page A1
  11. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 1965". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Kent University Museum
  13. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 1993". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 2006". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Business of Fashion 2009". Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 2004". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 1977". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 2001". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  19. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 2002". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  20. ^ >"Biography.com". Retrieved 26 Sep 2013. 
  21. ^ "Luxury Hotels of the World at The Leading Hotels of the World - Online Hotel Reservations, Leading Hotel Resort, Leading Small Hotels". Lhw.com. 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  22. ^ "Specialists in the Art of Travel, Luxury Travel Advisors". Virtuoso. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  23. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 1967". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 1973". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  25. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 1990". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  26. ^ "Óscar de la Renta 1982". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  27. ^ Mower, Sarah (2002). Oscar: The Style, Inspiration and Life of Oscar De La Renta. New York: Assouline. p. 12. 
  28. ^ Kleinman, Rebecca (19 February 2014). "Oscar de la Renta Takes Collection to Miami". WWD. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  29. ^ FRANCOISE DE LA RENTE, 62, A LEADER IN FASHION from New York Times 18 June 1983
  30. ^ Dynatsty from New York Magazine 21 May 2005
  31. ^ "Óscar de la Renta Today". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 

External links[edit]