de La Renta, Oscar (Óscar Arístides de la Renta Fiallo) [key], 1932–2014, Dominican-American fashion designer, b. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He studied in Madrid and began a career in fashion with Balenciaga. Moving to France in the 1960s, he worked for Lanvin before leaving for the United States. He designed for Elizabeth Arden in New York and later established his own firm that produced romantic and opulent clothes. In 1971 he became an American citizen. From 1993 to 2002 he was the head designer at Balmain, becoming the first American to lead a Paris couturier. De la Renta was known for his luxurious clothes, especially evening wear, which were favored by a clientele primarily comprised of socialites and film stars. His designs encompassed everything from bathing suits to wedding dresses, furs, perfumes, and linens.
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