Oscar de la Renta left his native Dominican Republic at 18 years of age to study paitning at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. While living in Spain, he become interested in the world of design and began sketching for leading Spanish fashion houses, which soon led to an apprenticeship with Spain’s most renowned couturier, Crist?bal Balenciago.
Later, Oscar de la Renta left Spain to join Antonio Castillo as a couture assistant at the house of Lanvin in Paris.
In 1963, Oscar de la Renta came to New York to design the couture collection for Elizabeth Arden.
In 1965, Mr. de la Renta began his signature ready-to-wear label.
The Oscar de la Renta label is comprised of the Signature ready-to-wear collection and Pink Label. To complement these designs, the Fall 2001 runway show marked the debut of Oscar de la Renta Accessories, bags, belts, jewelry, scarves, and shoes.
The world of Oscar de la Renta also includes a high end sportswear collection (OSCAR by Oscar de la Renta), cosmetic cases, eyewear, furs, jewelry, lingerie, scarves, sleepwear, and swimwear.
For men, Mr. de la Renta licenses products, including hosiery, sport coats, suits, and trousers. In South and Central America and Mexico there is a Sportswear line for men and boys and OSCAR JEANS, for men and women.
Mr. de la Renta has also ventured into the home with both furniture and home fragrance collections.
2002 marks the debut of Intrusion, the latest Oscar de la Renta fragrance for women. Oscar de la Renta launched his first perfume, Oscar, in 1977. Today, Oscar is a bestseller in over 70 countries and winner of the 1991 Fragrance Foundation Perennial Success Award. In 1980, he created a fragrance for men, Pour Lui.
In 1995, Oscar de la Renta was the recipient of the Living Legend Award from the American Society of Perfumes. In the fall of 1999, Oscar de la Renta introduced Oscar for Men.
Oscar de la Renta’s talents receive continual international recognition. Among many other honors, Oscar de la Renta received the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Womenswear Designer of the Year Award in 2000. In February 1990, he was honored with the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award.
From 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988, Oscar de la Renta served as Presidetn of the CFDA. He is also a two-time winner of the Coty American Fashion Critic’s Award and was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame in 1973.
With his spring 1993 collection for the house of Pierre Balmain, Oscar de la Renta became the first American to design for a French couture house and has been awarded the French Legion d’Honneur as a Commandeur.
The Dominican Republic has also honored its best known native son as one of its most distinguished citizens with the order al Mérito de Juan Pablo Duarte and the order of Crist?bal Col?n. In 1996, Mr. de la Renta received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic Heritage Society and in 2000 he marched down Fifth Avenue as Grand Marshall of New York City’s Hispanic Day Parade.
Also in 2000, Mr. de la Renta received the Gold Medal of Bellas Artes from the King of Spain.
Oscar de la Renta has also helped build a much needed school and day-care center in the Dominican Republic for 1,200 children.
Oscar de la Renta is a tireless patron of the arts. He serves as a board member of The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and Channel Thirteen/WNET. He is also on the boards of important cultural institutions such as New Yorkers for Children, the American Society, and the Spanish Institute.