Oscar de la Renta, a legendary fashion designer who helped create the iconic looks of Jacqueline Kennedy and other first ladies along with a series of Hollywood icons, has died. ABC News reports that de la Renta died Monday at 82 after a battle with cancer.
“Born in the Dominican Republic in 1932, de la Renta left home at 18 to study painting in Madrid. It was there he developed a love of fashion design and began an apprenticeship with Cristóbal Balenciaga, who became his mentor, and then, landed a job with Lanvin in Paris. Soon after, he moved to New York City,” the story reports.
In an interview with Gotham magazine last year, de la Renta is quoted saying: “When I first arrived here in 1963, all the names on clothes were the name of [the store]. You made your clothes, you sold them to the store, and they quickly removed the label and put the label of the store. If it was a dress at Saks Fifth Avenue, the label was Saks Fifth Avenue. Bergdorf Goodman was Bergdorf Goodman. But it was a time of transition.”
He launched his own label in 1965 and soon began designing outfits for Jacqueline Kennedy. He went on to design clothes for first ladies Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton, along with Hollywood celebrities including Sandra Bullock and Jessica Biel.
Just this month, George Clooney’s bride Amal wore a de la Renta wedding gown.
De la Renta also reportedly said in the Gotham interview: “A huge mistake we make is forgetting that one day we will die. We think that we are going to live forever. I always say life is a little like a garden. There is a time to plant, then a time you have to weed. Just think about people you’ve deeply cared for. And then think of the people you wish you’d spent more time with. I always say this: Live, love and laugh.”
Oscar de la Renta