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Oscar de la Renta: 1932-2014

Oscar de la Renta 2007

Oscar de la Renta honored at the 2007 Americas Society Spring Party. (Photo: Mary Hilliard)

October 21, 2014

Americas Society and Council of the Americas are saddened by news of the death of fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. A member of our Chairman’s International Advisory Council since 1990, he was honored in 2007 at our annual Spring Party with the Americas Society Gold Medal for his remarkable lifetime achievements.

"Today we celebrate the life of Oscar: a wonderful friend and a true icon of fashion," said AS/COA President and CEO Susan Segal.

Born Oscar Arístides de la Renta in the Dominican Republic on July 22, 1932, he made his debut working in the fashion world sketching dresses for designer Cristóbal Balenciaga in Madrid, and went on to work for Antonio del Castillo in Paris and Elizabeth Arden in New York. De la Renta, who won the Coty awards several times and was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame in 1973, went on to make his Paris launch as a couture designer in 1993.

"This man has been working for more than 20 years to turn me into a fashion icon," said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when presenting de la Renta with Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence earlier this year. While celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Penelope Cruz donned his fashions, de la Renta also designed clothes for four first ladies.

Considered a champion of modern women, de la Renta said in a 2004 interview: “We live in an era of globalization and the era of the woman. Never in the history of the world have women been more in control of their destiny.”