The Death of de la Renta

There are so few preeminent designers left alive in the world of fashion. And now, we’ve lost another. Oscar de la Renta, perhaps one of the only famous people ever from the Dominican Republic, succumbed to cancer at the age of 82. Dying in, of all places, Connecticut, de la Renta began a successful career largely due to the advice of Diana Vreeland, who told him starting at Elizabeth Arden would boost his career faster, as she was a name not a designer.

The stately air of de la Renta
The stately air of de la Renta
de la Renta spent two years at Arden before going to work for designer Jane Derby and then assuming control over her line after her death in 1965. Thus, de la Renta’s career trajectory moved quite seamlessly from relative unknown to one of the most sought after ready-to-wear designers in the industry.
SJP in de la Renta
SJP in de la Renta
In 1993, de la Renta took over as designer for haute couture collections at Balmain. His designs continued to appear not only on rich as fuck women, but also the celebrity likes of Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker and Emma Watson. The fact that he was one of the few men in fashion who was actually straight may have been what gave him such an edge with his designs. The man who once said, “The great thing about fashion is that it always looks forward” (which it definitely doesn’t) is now gone, leaving a void where the forward-thinking designer once filled it.