Earlier this week, the world of fashion and entertainment was shocked by the passing of renowned designer Oscar de la Renta, who had been fighting a long battle against cancer since 2006. However, his 82 years of life were full of success, and today we celebrate the Dominican-American designer’s work and life by telling you 4 interesting facts you might not know about Oscar de la Renta.
Fact you might not know about Oscar de la Renta #4: He wanted to be a painter
Unlike many other designers, Oscar de la Renta was not seduced by the world of fashion from the beginning, but grew to love it afterwards. Originally, the famous designer traveled to Madrid, Spain when he was only 18 to study painting at the Academy of San Fernando. At first, he wanted to become a successful abstract painter, however, soon he became interested in fashion design.
Luckily for us, his outstanding illustrations caught everyone’s attention, and soon the designer was invited to work as an apprentice of designer Cristóbal Balenciaga.
Fact you might not know about Oscar de la Renta #3: He designed for big names of entertainment and politics
Many designers have had the pleasure of seeing their designs come to live on a red carpet for an event full of A-list celebrities, and de la Renta was not the exception. He has dressed some of the most influential personalities of Hollywood, and he even designed the gorgeous wedding dress for George Clooney’s wife, Amal Alamuddin.
But Hollywood was too small for the designer! Oscar de la Renta also created outfits for some of the most famous American first ladies, such as Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, and his designs soon became an international staple of glamour and luxury.
Fact you might not know about Oscar de la Renta #2: He had an influential family
You’ve probably heard that Oscar de la Renta was originally from the Dominican Republic, but what you might not know is that his family was actually one of the most powerful of that nation, especially on his mother’s side. Carmen María Antonia Fiallo was from Spanish descent, and her family contained important artists, scholars, businessmen, military men and even renowned politicians amongst them.
Although he left the Dominican Republic later on, the designer was deeply linked to his roots, had homes in the country, and even adopted a child there after his first wife’s death in 1983.
Fact you might not know about Oscar de la Renta #1: He was a philanthropist
When de la Renta wasn’t working on his next collection, he was making sure his money could also help the people in need -a passion he shared with his last wife, Annette de la Renta- thus becoming probably one of the most philanthropic designers of the world. The designer was involved in multiple artistic organizations, and worked closely in projects related to education for the underprivileged.
In the Dominican Republic, he founded an orphanage called Casa del Niño, as well as a school next to his home in Punta Cana. He also collaborated in raising money for cancer research early this year.
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