Last week, the world was shocked to learn that the fashion designer Oscar de la Renta had passed away at the age of 82 after rumors had begun circulating that he was ill. While de la Renta had been diagnosed with cancer in 2006, tests from last year showed that this was no longer an issue. The cause of his death has not been confirmed.
Described as the “sultan of suave”, de la Renta had dressed first ladies and some of the most influential, well-known brides in the United States. From his humble beginnings in the Dominican Republic, de la Renta rose to stardom after a a dress commissioned by the wife of a U.S. Ambassador for her daughter made the cover of Life magazine. From there, after switching his focus from abstract art to fashion, he traveled to Paris to study his craft with Mike Livak before moving to New York and beginning work which would make him a household name in the fashion industry.
De la Renta once described himself as a ‘restless person’ who is ‘always doing something’ and that work ethic showed through in his designs. No matter the customer, not a stitch was out of place. Over his career, de la Renta won several Cody fashion awards – an honor on par with the Oscars – and his designs could always be found on the red carpet. Even President Obama has recently worn an Oscar de la Renta creation at a workshop at the White House.