Oscar de la Renta’s Passing

**This article is a late publish, originally news for October 23, 2014**

By: Waverly Colville, E23 Reporter

Very few fashion designers can claim such a powerful influence over history just based on dressing famous icons.

However, the legendary and timeless fashion designer Oscar de la Renta can.

Oscar de la Renta has died on Monday at age 82 after suffering from cancer on and off since 2006. With his death, the fashion world lost an influential and exemplary man who dressed and therefore influenced powerful people throughout the 20th century.

The “sultan of suave” dressed iconic women throughout history, including every first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy. He dressed Nancy Reagan and designed Laura Bush’s inaugural gown. Later, Jenna Bush’s wedding gown was also a de la Renta original. He also created Hilary Clinton’s signature pantsuit. He dressed countless celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Anne Hathaway, Elizabeth Arden, Sarah Jessica Parker and most recently George Clooney’s bride Amal Alamuddin, among countless others.

During his career, he also designed fragrances, a home line and furniture. He was the winner of multiple Cody awards, which are fashion awards equivalent to the Oscars. He won the Cody Award in 1967 and 1968 and was inaugurated into the Coty Hall of Fame in 1989. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

“I’m a very restless person. I’m always doing something. The creative process never stops,” he once said.

Born in the Dominican Republic, de la Renta left at 18 to study painting in Madrid, where he developed his love for fashion. His mentor was also another influential fashion designer, Cristobal Balenciaga. Later, he worked in Paris then began his career in New York in the 1950’s.

Close friends describe de la Renta as full of zest, which can be seen in his fashion through bright colors and flowly angles.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend,” said Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. “His singular talent and exquisite taste elevated American fashion, and his warmth and friendship will be missed by our family and all whose lives he touched in his extraordinary journey.”

Laura Bush also offered words of sympathy.

“George and I are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend,” she said. “We will miss Oscar’s generous and warm personality, his charm and his wonderful talents.”

De la Renta once said “I’ve lived every day to the fullest, and I’ve had a marvelous time. I’ve tried to be nice to the people I care about, and ignore the ones I don’t. I enjoy what I’ve done.”

Influential people around the world who have worn his designs certainly agree with him. Oscar de la Renta will be remembered as a name ubiquitously known on the red carpet. Known for his beautiful evening gowns that were worn by some of the most influential women in history, his name will live on to dress the future leading ladies of the world.