Oscar de la Renta, a renowned American fashion designer famed for his glamorous red-carpet gowns and smart suits for ladies who lunch, died Monday evening at the age of 82, a spokeswoman for his fashion house confirmed.
Mr. de la Renta died just a few weeks after he named a new designer to replace him at his eponymous brand.
Possibly the U.S.’s most noted fashion designer, Mr. de la Renta managed to stay relevant for more than six decades. Even in his final days, he was the go-to designer for celebrity brides and socialites who flocked to his rich, ever-feminine designs, which radiated wealth and power. He dressed Amal Alamuddin in September for her wedding to George Clooney.
First lady Michelle Obama recently wore one of his dresses, after having seemed to snub him for years. Mr. de la Renta, designer of countless looks for previous first ladies from Betty Ford to Laura Bush, had openly chafed at the seeming oversight, which caused speculation that Mrs. Obama preferred emerging designers.
The response to the designer’s death in the fashion industry was immediate, as he had served as a father to American fashion. The Savannah College of Art and Design said it would fly flags at half-staff, according to a spokesman.
During Paris Fashion Week in September, the house of de la Renta announced that Peter Copping, designer of Nina Ricci, will take the design reins.