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Top Designers - Oscar de la Renta

De la Renta was born July 1932 in the Dominican Republic. At the age of 18 he left to Madrid to study painting at the San Fernando Royal Academy of fine arts. There, he began working as an illustrator for fashion houses; a position to lead, eventually, to assist Spain's leading designer, Cristobal Balenciaga. Later on, Oscar de la Renta left Spain to join Antonio Castillo as a couture assistant at the house of Lanvin in Paris.

In 1963, de la Renta came to New-York to design the couture collection for Elizabeth Arden. In 1965 he began his signature ready-to-wear label.
De la Renta's label rapidly came to characterize high fashion and luxury to society ladies; his romantic, feminine designs echo his grounding in both American wear and European couture. He is best known for his women's suits and evening wear which became over the years the essential wardrobe elements of socialites and former first ladies such as Nancy ReaganJacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Hillary Clinton.

Oscar de la Renta is also a two-time winner of the Coty American Fashion Critic's Award and was inducted to its Hall of Fame in 1973; he was the first American to design for a French couture house with his spring 1993 collection for the house of Balmain and was been awarded the French Legion d'Honneur as a Commandeur. De la Renta received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic Heritage Society and in 2000 he received the Gold Medal of Bellas Artes from the King of Spain. Also a patron of the arts, de la Renta serves as a board member of the Metropolitan Opera house and Carnegie Hall; but among all the many of the honors he received Oscar de la Renta received the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Womenswear Designer of the Year Award and was honored with the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award.

In Style Magazine wrote about de la Renta, "The name Oscar de la Renta is so lushly rhythmic that even women who own nothing more than his perfume sprits it with the confidence of knowing that these six melodious syllables ensure entrance into a world of limitless grace and polish. After more than 30 years on and around Seventh Avenue, his presence is proof that a man can possess impeccable taste and manners without displaying the slightest trace of dandyism and also design unrepentantly feminine clothes without ever misreading the desires of today's women."

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