Oscar de la Renta was born in 1933 in the Dominican Republic. At the age of eighteen Oscar left his native land and moved to Madrid, Spain to study painting at the San Fernando Art School. While he was living in Spain he discovered his extensive love for fashion and began sketching for many leading Spanish fashion houses. This soon led to Oscar being an apprentice with Spain's most revered couturier, Christian Balenciaga. Soon after that Oscar de la Renta left Spain and began working with Antonio Castillo as a couture assistant at the house of Lanvin in Paris. Finally, in 1963, Oscar came to New York to design couture collections for Elizabeth Arden. After two years with Elizabeth Arden, he then joined the Jane Derby Company as a partner with Ben Shaw and his son Gerald Shaw. In 1966, the label was changed to carry the Oscar de la Renta signature. By 1974, Oscar and Gerald Shaw took full ownership of the company. It has since expanded to include countries such as Europe, The Orient, and South America, in addition to North America. Not only is Oscar famous for his clothing designs but also for his design of fragrances such as Oscar for women created in 1977, Pou Lui created in 1980, and Volupte created in 1992. These are the fragrances that caused him to win the American Society of Perfumes Living Legend Award. Today Oscar is the best selling perfume in over seventy countries around the world. Then in 1997, Oscar de la Renta launched a new fragrance for women called So de la Renta. A sheer luscious floral, this sent was created for women with an independent attitude and an effortless sense of style. In the fall of 1999 Oscar de la Renta debuted his newest fragrance called Oscar for men.
Oscar de la Renta swept the world in the 1970's with many international fashion trends such as his Russian and Gypsy fashion themes. Among many other honors, Oscar is also a two- time winner of the Coty American Fashion Critics Award.