Just days after the announcement that Peter Coppings would come on board as creative director at Oscar de la Renta, one of the world most prestigious fashion houses, the legendary New York-based designer has passed away. ABC News is reporting the fashion designer has died at age 82, a report that has been confirmed by a family member. De la Renta, who hit his 50th year in fashion in 2013, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. Born in the Dominican Republic in 1932, de la Renta apprenticed with Spanish master, Cristobal Balenciaga before moving to Paris to work at Lanvin, where he joined Antonio del Castillo as a couture assistant. In 1963, he moved to New York to design the couture collection for Elizabeth Arden, and two years later, launched his eponymous label, which has since evolved into a $600 million-a-year business, known for its ornate embroidery, sumptuous fur, cheerful florals, and hint of the exotic.
From 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988, Oscar de la Renta served as President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the trade organization recognized him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Mr. de la Renta has dressed first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, and most recently Michelle Obama. He also quite famously welcomed disgraced designer John Galliano into his studio during the Spring of 2013. He is a true fashion legend, who will be greatly missed in the fashion industry in the Unites States and internationally.
In her obituary for the late designer, Cathy Hoyrn, the New York Times’ long-time fashion director writes: “Oscar de la Renta, the doyen of American fashion, whose career began in the 1950s in Franco’s Spain and sprawled across the better living rooms of Paris and New York, and who was the last survivor of that generation of bold, all-seeing tastemakers, died on Monday at his home in Kent, Conn.”