New York-based legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, whose feminine and timeless formal wear made US first ladies, royalty and Hollywood stars stand out, died of cancer yesterday at age 82.

The Dominican-born American-based fashion icon was called on to dress first ladies – from Kennedy to Nancy Reagan, to Laura Bush and more recently Michelle Obama – when the event called for something with a regal touch.

It’s totally expected that fashionistas around the globe would immediately think of Sex and the City’s Sarah Jessica Parker when they learnt of the designer’s death. Parker, along with the late Audrey Hepburn, and Nicole Kidman were among the elegant designer’s many loyal fans.

The son of a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father, de la Renta trained in Spain, as an apprentice to Cristobal Balenciaga, and later worked at Lanvin in Paris.

The designer, who reportedly passed away at his home in Connecticut, had been awarded the lifetime achievement award of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1999.

Just a few weeks ago at Paris Fashion Week, the House of de la Renta announced Peter Copping as the new designer who’d take over from de la Renta.


  • Oscar de la Renta’s full name was Óscar Arístides de la Renta Fiallo. He made his fashion industry debut in the ’50s.
  • He shot to fame in the ’60s when he dressed then-US first lady Jackie Kennedy. From then on, the fashion genius made his way into Hollywood circles, designing fairytale-like gowns for red carpet events.
  • Oscar’s first wife Françoise de Langlade whom he married in 1967, died in 1983. He married Annette Engelhard in 1989 and the couple were together until his death on 20 October.

How the stars reacted to the passing of this couture legend:



SOURCES: Sapa, Vogue UK, Wikipedia, New York Times