What was Oscar de la Renta's Net Worth?
Oscar de la Renta was a Dominican-born fashion designer who had a net worth of $200 million at the time of his death in 2014. During his lifetime, Oscar de la Renta was one of the world's leading fashion designers. In the 1960s, he became known all over the world for dressing Jacqueline Kennedy. He would go one to design dresses for many First Ladies, including Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama.
- Richest Business › Designers
- Net Worth:
- $200 Million
- Date of Birth:
- Jul 22, 1932 - Oct 20, 2014 (82 years old)
- Place of Birth:
- Santo Domingo
- United States of America
Oscar worked for Balmain and Lanvin, and he released his first ready-to-wear collection in 1965. An award-winning designer, he formed an eponymous fashion house that still dresses key figures, from film stars to royalty. Particularly known for his red carpet gowns and evening wear, de la Renta has set up several other enterprises. In 1977, he launched his first fragrance, Oscar, and in the early 2000s, he created an accessories line and a homewares line. Furthermore, de la Renta's craftsmanship went beyond creating attire in 2006, when he got the chance to design Tortuga Bay, a boutique hotel at the Dominican Republic's Puntacana Resort and Club.
Oscar de la Renta was born Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo on July 22, 1932, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. His mother, Carmen María Antonia Fiallo, was Dominican, and his father, Óscar Avelino De La Renta, was Puerto Rican. Oscar grew up in a Catholic household with six older sisters, and when he was 18 years old, his mother passed away from complications of multiple sclerosis. Around that time, de la Renta studied painting at Madrid's Royal Academy of San Fernando, and to earn money, he sketched clothing for fashion houses and newspapers. After Francesca Lodge, the wife of U.S. Ambassador John Davis Lodge, saw some of Oscar's sketches in 1956, she hired him to design a coming-out gown for her daughter. The gown graced the cover of "Life" magazine, and de la Renta soon began sketching designs for Spanish fashion houses and landed an apprenticeship with renowned couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, who became his mentor. Oscar left Spain in 1961 to take a job as a couture assistant to Antonio del Castillo, a Tony-nominated costume designer, at Lanvin in Paris.
In 1963, de la Renta told "Vogue" editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland that he wanted to "get into ready to wear, because that's where the money is," and she advised him to work for Elizabeth Arden, stating, "She is not a designer, so she will promote you. At the other place, you will always be eclipsed by the name of Dior." Oscar spent two years working for Arden in New York, then he worked for the American fashion house Jane Derby.
De la Renta took control of the label after Derby died in 1965. That year Oscar launched his ready-to-wear label, and three years later, he received the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion.
From 1993 to 2002, he designed a haute couture collection for French fashion house Balmain, and he began offering bridal wear in 2006. His wedding gowns have been worn by well-known brides such as Jenna Bush, Amal Clooney, Kate Bosworth, Amanda Peet, and Katherine Heigl. In 2004, de la Renta opened his flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City, and in 2008, he opened his first international stores in Madrid, Spain, and Athens, Greece. He launched a line of children's apparel in 2012, and the following year, the William S. Clinton Presidential Center hosted the exhibit "Oscar de la Renta: American Icon." Another exhibit, "Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style," followed in 2014 at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Oscar married "French Vogue" editor-in-chief Françoise de Langlade in 1967, and they were together until 1983, when Françoise died of cancer. After his wife's death, de la Renta adopted a child from the Dominican Republic. Moisés, who was born in 1984, followed in his father's footsteps and pursued a career in fashion design; the two reportedly had a falling-out in 2005 after Moisés created a women's fashion line. In 1989, Oscar married Annette Engelhard, and he was stepfather to her children Eliza, Beatrice, and Charles. Oscar and Annette were married until his death. Eliza is Oscar de la Renta, LLC's, Vice President of Licensing, and her husband, Alex Bolen, is the CEO. De la Renta was a citizen of both the U.S. and the Dominican Republic, and in 1982, he founded an orphanage in the Dominican Republic called La Casa del Nino. He held a diplomatic passport to the Dominican Republic, and he was an Ambassador-at-Large for the country. Oscar served on the boards of Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, and WNET, and he was chairman of the nonprofit organization The Queen Sofía Spanish Institute.
Illness and Death
Oscar was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and the following year, he stated, "Yes, I had cancer. Right now, I am totally clean. The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die…The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life." At age 82, De la Renta passed away at his Connecticut home on October 20, 2014, due to complications from cancer. According to "Cure," a publication for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers, Oscar had "bouts with intermittent cancer" during the last few years of his life, and a few months before his death, he put on a Designed for a Cure fundraiser for Miami's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (where he had been treated for cancer) that featured cancer patients and survivors and their doctors modeling his designs.
Awards and Honors
Oscar won Coty Awards at the 1967 and 1968 Coty American Fashion Critics' Awards, and he was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1973. He was President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) from 1973 to 1976 and 1986 to 1988, and he received the organization's Designer of the Year Award in 2000 and in 2007 and a CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990. King Juan Carlos of Spain honored de la Renta with the La Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil and the Gold Medal of Bellas Artes, and in 1999, he received the Légion d'honneur (as a Commandeur) from the French government. Oscar also received the Order of Christopher Columbus and the Order of Merit of Duarte, Sánchez and Mella from the Dominican Republic, the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, and the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence. In 2013, de la Renta received an honorary degree from New York's Hamilton College, and in 2017, the U.S. Postal Service released an 11-stamp series in his honor.
In 1971, de la Renta paid $110,000 for a sprawling, 50+ estate in Kent, Connecticut, known as Brook Hill Farm. He also owned an apartment in the Park Avenue area of Manhattan and a beachfront home in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.