Designer Oscar de la Renta dies at 82 after a 10-year battle with cancer: US media

Designer Oscar De La Renta smiles to the crowd after his Spring 2010 show during New York Fashion Week on Sept 16, 2009. The legendary fashion designer, famous for the classic lines of his formal wear, has died at 82, United States media reported on
Designer Oscar De La Renta smiles to the crowd after his Spring 2010 show during New York Fashion Week on Sept 16, 2009. The legendary fashion designer, famous for the classic lines of his formal wear, has died at 82, United States media reported on Monday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

NEW YORK (AFP) - Legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, famous for the classic lines of his formal wear, has died at 82, United States media reported on Monday.

The Dominican-born American fashion icon recently designed the wedding dress for human rights lawyer Amal Clooney for her marriage in Venice last month to actor and director George Clooney.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Annette de la Renta, according to the New York Times. He reportedly died at his home in Connecticut.

The Spanish-language television network Univision reported that de la Renta died after a 10-year battle with cancer.

He revealed in 2011 that he had a bout with cancer earlier that year.

He was known as one of the industry's classic designers, famous for floral, feminine, classy, elegant designs, flattering silhouettes with full skirts, cinched waists, often in soft hues

He was called on to dress United States first ladies - from Jacqueline Kennedy to Nancy Reagan to Laura Bush among others - when the event called for something with a regal touch.

He was also a go-to man for something elegant for actress and fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker, of Sex In The City fame.

The designer, who became a United States citizen in 1969, was the first American to become the top designer of a French fashion house.

The son of a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father, he trained in Spain, as an apprentice to Cristobal Balenciaga. De la Renta later worked at Lanvin in Paris.

He had been awarded the lifetime achievement award of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.


“I don’t have a perfect body, but when I put on one of his gowns, I feel like all my flaws immediately disappear. He truly understands how to dress women.” Nana Au-Chua, 43, chief operating officer of Million Lighting, who owns more than 30 Oscar de la Renta gowns “Simplicity is elegance. I love how his dresses are not over the top, but can still turn heads.” Sharel Ho, 40, managing director of DeFRED Jewellers“He understood old-world glamour, and yet was fully relevant. There aren’t many designers who can balance classic and contemporary so well."Ginette Chittick, 37, programme leader for the diploma in fashion course at LASALLE College of the Arts “My first encounter with the name Oscar de la Renta was through my Barbie dolls that came with outfits designed by him. Even back then I remember being very impressed by his dramatic and glamorous gowns. He presented fashion in such an iconic way.”Jo Soh, 38, fashion designer“Simplicity is elegance. I love how his dresses are not over the top, but can still turn heads.”Sharel Ho, 40, managing director of DeFRED Jewellers“He’s iconic because his designs are simply beautiful, timeless and carry a classic fairy tale magic. His bridal gowns are some of the most stunning pieces that I have in my boutique.” Elaine Kim, 32, co-owner of luxury bridal and evening gown business Trinity Gallery in Singapore and Trinity Bridal in Hong Kong“I never fail to feel like a princess when I have one of his gowns on. They have a timeless quality and I’ll be passing them on to my daughter.”Jamie Chua, 40, socialite