Ocsar de la Renta, the fashion designer to the stars, died last night at his home in Kent, Connecticut, USA, age 82, his family has confirmed.
De la Renta, who battled cancer for a decade, was considered the king of glamour and dressed celebrities from Sixties greats such as Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn to today’s A-listers like Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman.
Born in the Dominican Republic, de la Renta studied painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid before working for Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga and for Lanvin in Paris. In the early Sixties, he moved to New York where he founded his own label in 1965.
“While our hearts are broken by the idea of life without Oscar, he is still very much with us. Oscar’s hard work, his intelligence and his love of life are at the heart of our company,” said Alex and Eliza Bolen, company executives of his eponymous label, in a statement.
They continued: “All that we have done, and all that we will do, is informed by his values and his spirit. Through Oscar’s example we know the way forward. We will make Oscar very proud of us by continuing in an even stronger way the work that Oscar loved so much.”
Earlier this month, Oscar de la Renta appointed ex-Nina Ricci designer Peter Copping as his brand’s first creative director, although he made it clear that he had no intention of stepping away from the business. The designer’s talent for demure cuts and a glamorous aesthetic saw him dress Hollywood stars like Amy Adams, Cameron Diaz and America’s First Lady Michelle Obama.
Last month, de la Renta had a big part in the most talked-about wedding of the year, designing two dresses for George Clooney’s bride Amal Alamuddin . “George and I wanted a wedding that was romantic and elegant, and I can’t imagine anyone more able than Oscar to capture this mood in a dress. Meeting him made the design process all the more magical, as he is so warm and such a gentleman,” the British lawyer told Vogue last month.