Legendary Fashion Designer Oscar de la Renta Has Died

The artist died Monday at the age of 82.

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has died.
Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has died.

Oscar de la Renta, the iconic fashion designer, has died at the age of 82. De la Renta, who had been diagnosed with cancer in 2006, died in his Connecticut home.

Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1932, Oscar de la Renta traveled to the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid to study painting at the age of 18. While in Spain, he became interested in fashion and secured an apprenticeship with renowned couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga. His training also included time as a couture assistant to Antonio del Castillo at Lanvin in Paris.

De la Renta's long career included dressing Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s and launching his own label in 1965. He also designed the haute couture collection for the house of Balmain from 1993 to 2002. De la Renta's legendary eveningwear designs have been worn by a host of American First Ladies since Kennedy, including Nancy Reagan, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. His gowns have become ubiquitous on red carpets with actresses such as Audrey Hepburn, Penelope Cruz, Anne Hathaway, Emma Watson, Sarah Jessica Parker, and many more donning his styles.

A patron of the arts, de la Renta served as a board member of the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and other organizations. In 1995, he created original gowns for Broadway performers to wear in the Swinging on a Star revue's "Starlight Supper Club," and in 2002, he provided clothing for the character of Mr. Gorshin in Say Goodnight Gracie on Broadway.

De la Renta's first wife was Françoise de Langlade, an editor in chief of the French Vogue. After her death, he married philanthropist and socialite Annette Engelhard. De la Renta is survived by Engelhard, step-children from both his marriages, and his adopted son Moises.