Oscar de la Renta: 1932—: Fashion Designer
Created Off-the-rack Designs
Now intent on a career in fashion, de la Renta moved to Paris in 1961 to become a couture assistant for fashion designer Antonio Canovas del Castillo. After taking a two-week crash course in dressmaking, de la Renta joined Castillo's couture, specializing in tailoring. De la Renta began to excel in the fashion industry, and in 1963, after meeting fashion designer Elizabeth Arden at a dinner party, he was invited to join Arden's New York firm as her chief in-house designer. Seeing New York as the next step on the path to fame and wealth, de la Renta quickly agreed. For the next two years he designed high-end clothing that catered to wealthy women. While at Elizabeth Arden, de la Renta became convinced that off-the-rack clothing was a largely untapped market with vast potential. When he failed to convince Arden to develop a new ready-to-wear line, de la Renta decided to step out on his own.
Leaving Elizabeth Arden in 1965, de la Renta partnered with Ben and Gerald Shaw in the purchase of the Seventh Avenue ready-to-wear design firm of Jane Derby, who was preparing to retire. Although the move was risky—de la Renta took a drastic cut in pay—the deal provided him with one-third ownership of the company, a challenge and an opportunity he couldn't refuse. After Derby's death the following year, the firm's name was changed to Oscar de la Renta Inc. In 1967, the same year in which he won his first Coty American Fashion Critics Award, de la Renta married Françoise de la Langlade, editor-in-chief of French Vogue magazine. With his wife's help, de la Renta received valuable publicity, and comments on his designs, and those who had been seen wearing his clothing began to appear in the society columns. This added to de la Renta's name recognition and to the aura of his signature style.
- Oscar de la Renta: 1932—: Fashion Designer - Growth Of Oscar De La Renta Ltd.
- Oscar de la Renta: 1932—: Fashion Designer - From Painter To Designer
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