8 reasons why Oscar de la Renta is a fashion icon

A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A model walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Designer Oscar de la Renta (centre) and model Karlie Kloss (left) walk the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Designer Oscar de la Renta (centre) and model Karlie Kloss (left) walk the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 in New York City on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Oscar De La Renta addresses the audience to speak about his "Oscar" fashion line in Macy's Department Store during New York Fashion Week in this Feb 7, 2007, file photo. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Oscar De La Renta addresses the audience to speak about his "Oscar" fashion line in Macy's Department Store during New York Fashion Week in this Feb 7, 2007, file photo. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

1. Oscar de la Renta was born in 1932 in the Dominican Republic and cut his teeth working for some of the most famous couturiers in his day - Cristobal Balenciaga and Lanvin.

The New York Times recounted this anecdote told by him in an interview with the paper about his meeting with Antonio del Castillo, the designer at Lanvin.

"He loved me because I spoke Spanish, and he asked me if I could cut, drape and sew, and of course I said yes...and I said I would start in two weeks. Then I went to a fashion school and asked the woman who ran it if she could teach me the year's course in two weeks."

2. He became famous for two things, according to The New York Times: he was a couturier to socialites and was the go-to designer for celebrities who want to make a splash on the red carpet. Some of the Hollywood stars who wore his lavish gowns included Sarah Jessica Parker, Penelope Cruz and Amy Adams.

3. His fame reached new heights when he designed the ivory gown that lawyer Amal Alamuddin wore at her wedding to actor George Clooney in Venice last month.

4. He famously chided US First Lady Michelle Obama three years ago for wearing foreign labels. The Daily Mail said he dressed four First Ladies: Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton. He became close to Mrs Reagan and Mrs Clinton. Mrs Clinton, according to The New York Times, said this of Mr de la Renta: "He's been working for 20 years to turn me into a fashion icon."

5. Mrs Obama wore one of his dresses for the first time to a cocktail party following a White House Fashion Education Workshop that she hosted earlier this month, reported The Daily Mail.

6. An episode of the hit television cable series Sex And The City was dedicated to the designer and in it, Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker), wore an Oscar de la Renta dress to the ballet.

7. His social circle went beyond Hollywood and the fashion industry. The late award-winning writer Norman Mailer and former US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary were guests at the famous parties that he and his second wife Annette hosted.

8. Mr de la Renta, who made his debut as a couture designer in Paris in 1993, was presented with Coty Awards, chosen by a jury of fashion editors, for having had the most significant influence on fashion in 1967 and 1968. In 1989 he was given a lifetime achievement award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, said The New York Times.