MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) - Prolific fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has died at his home in Kent, Connecticut as a result of complications from cancer, ABC News reported.
Surrounded by family and friends, the designer succumbed to the illness which he had been courageously battling since 2006. He is survived by Annette, his wife of nearly 25 years.
De la Renta, who was born in the Dominican Republic, began his career in 1950s Spain, where he worked for Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga. He quickly gained prominence as a fashion trendsetter, and worked with Lanvin and Elizabeth Arden before launching his own brand in the mid-1960s in the United States.
De la Renta dressed everyone from Hollywood celebrities to royals, politicians and first ladies, among them Henry Kissinger, Nancy Reagan, the Clintons and Michelle Obama. The New York Times dubbed him a “couturier to socialites” and “a red-carpet king,” while the Wall Street Journal heralded him as “possibly the US’s most noted fashioned designer,” someone who “managed to stay relevant for more than six decades.”
De la Renta’s clothes were known for their zest, vibrant colors, proportion, and airy sleeves; the designer told the Associated Press in a 2004 interview that his Hispanic roots had made their way into his designs.
As an individual, de la Renta was known for his charm, grace, warmth, outspokenness, and humor. He loved to host visitors at his homes in the Dominican Republic, to play dominos and to sing after dinner.
Over the decades, de la Renta’s eponymous brand has expanded from high-end fashion apparel to include jewelry, sunglasses, fragrances and other accessories. Over the last decade, his business grew by fifty percent, according to the New York Times.
A statement signed by company executives and family members noted that “while our hearts are broken by the idea of life without Oscar, he is still very much us. Oscar's hard work, his intelligence and his love of life are at the heart of our company,” Canada’s CBC noted.