Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta


Oscar de la Renta left his native Dominican Republic at the age of eighteen, 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. Later, he left Spain to join Antonio Castillo as a couture assistant at the house of Lanvin in Paris. In 1963, he came to New York to design the couture collection for Elizabeth Arden. In 1965, Oscar de la Renta began his signature ready-to-wear label. Today the company also produces a bridal collection, a line of fragrances, a home collection and a complete range of accessories, including handbags, shoes and jewelry. In October 2008, the company opened its first international stores in Athens and Madrid.

Oscar de la Renta received the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990 and in both 2000 2007; he received the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. In 2006, Parsons awarded him with the Lifetime Achievement Award at their 58th Annual Benefit and Fashion Show.

In addition to his many design accolades, Oscar de la Renta tirelessly supports the arts; serving as a board member of The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and Channel Thirteen/WNET. He is also on the boards of many important institutions such as New Yorkers for Children, the Americans Society and presently is the chairman of the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute. Oscar de la Renta has also helped build a much needed school and day-care center in the Dominican Republic for 1,200 children.

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