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Oscar de la Renta: Design Genius

oscar1Born in the Dominican Republic to a family of civil servants, Oscar de la Renta was often referred to by many as a fashion genius. Though he hailed from humble beginnings, Oscar de la Renta was recognized both nationally and internationally, as having been one of the most influential designers of the 21st century. Yesterday, Oscar passed away at the age of 82, leaving a devastated fashion and design community in his wake. 

At the age of 18, de la Renta enrolled at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. Though he originally enrolled in the painting program, de la Renta soon became enamored with fashion. After producing sketches and designs for some of the leading fashion houses in Madrid, he landed an apprenticeship with Christobal Balenciaga, Spain’s most renowned couturier. De la Renta quickly began to make a name for himself, and eventually left Spain to head to the fashion capitol of the world–Paris.

In Paris, de la Renta continued to separate himself from his fellow designers. After many years of producing work for other designers, in 1965, he finally took control of his own label. Ignoring the harsh critiques from his peers and other designers, de la Renta set out to prove them wrong. Simply put, de la Renta’s designs were legendary. His design portfolio includes every First Lady since Jacqueline Kennedy, Oprah Winfrey, and Emma Watson, and in 2012 his eye for fashion and clothing expanded to interior design.

Oscar de la Renta

In December 2012, de la Renta opened his first local shop, where he began selling the popular Oscar de la Renta Home Collection. His collection of tropical inspired home furnishing accents were a hit and his line quickly gained as much notoriety as his fashion designs. De la Renta’s ability to design clothing that told a story was a rarity, and his eye for fashion and design was, and will remain, unmatched. 

Oscar de la renta home collection

In an interview with Architectural Digest in 2012, de la Renta said There should be no difference in taste levels between the clothes you wear and the things you live with.” de la Renta’s contribution to the fashion world have trickled into the design industry. He has had an overwhelming influence on architecture and interior design, and will be greatly missed throughout both communities.

~ Theodore’s Design Team

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