Hispanic Enterprise Magazine

Hispanic Business Owners in the US

Biography: Oscar de la Renta

Oscar De La Renta

Oscar de la Renta is one of the best known fashion designers in the world. His success is largely down to his ability to take the main features of European fashion and transfer them to the American market. This has resulted in his company becoming one of the most successful fashion houses in the world. This has also been helped by his great business sense, something that not all designers have.

Oscar de la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic the nineteen thirties where he would take an early interest in art. This led his moving to Spain when he was eighteen to study painting in Madrid. Needing a way to make a living he started working as an illustrator for fashion houses in the city which would eventually result in his taking an apprenticeship with one of Spain's leading designers. After learning the trade he moved to Paris to work for a number of other designers. His big break would come when he went to work for Elizabeth Arden in 1963.

The reason that the decision to go to work for Elizabeth Arden was that she was a big name in the fashion industry but not a designer. Had de la Renta continued working for other designers he would have remained in their shadow and found it hard to make a name for himself. However with Arden she could promote him as the designer of her line without the risk to her on reputation. This worked out well for both parties as Elizabeth Arden saw their sales increase and Oscar de la Renta made his name.

A part of the reason that Oscar de la Renta and Elizabeth Arden were so successful was that they really focused on ready to wear clothes. This was not something that most of the big name designers were doing at the time but the two of them realized that there was a market for them and this was where the money was to be made. After just two years together Oscar de la Renta decided to go out on his own and start his own clothing line. He continued to focus on ready to wear clothing, mainly at the casual end of the market.

Oscar de la Renta has been one of the most successful designers on the market for years now. This is largely because he has keen understanding of what the market wants. Equally important he has more business sense than a lot of his competitors. Most of them focus solely on coming up with something that they think looks good. Oscar de la Renta on the other hand makes sure that the clothes that he designs are practical and something that women will actually wear. This has resulted in sales that are much higher than most of his competitors have.