The Couture Council of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) will honor Oscar de la Renta with its 2012 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion on Wednesday September 12, 2012 at a benefit luncheon at the David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, New York City. As has become the tradition, this luncheon heralds the arrival of Fall Fashion Week.
Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, announced, "Oscar de la Renta is a true fashion superstar who has long served as one of the greatest ambassadors of American style. His clothes, which draw on the heritage of Spain and the French haute couture, as well as on the dynamism of contemporary New York high fashion, convey a sense of luxury and drama that have earned him acclaim throughout the world."
FIT president, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, noted, "We are so pleased to honor this great American designer, who, through his timeless and elegant designs, is a legend to all those who love fashion. Oscar de la Renta is an inspiration, not only to students of fashion, including FIT's talented students, but to his fellow designers as well."
"I am honored to receive this award from the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT," said Mr. de la Renta. "It is an extraordinary acknowledgement celebrating artistry in fashion, a craft that defines my work as a designer and drives our industry as a whole. FIT is an institution dedicated to the future of fashion. I greatly admire their work and am happy to be a part their efforts."
Born in the Dominican Republic, Oscar de la Renta left at the age of eighteen to study painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. While living in Spain, he became interested in design and began sketching for leading Spanish fashion houses, which led to an apprenticeship with Spain's renowned couturier, CristÃ³bal Balenciaga. Later, he left Spain to join Antonio Castillo as a couture assistant at the house of Lanvin in Paris. Mr. de la Renta came to New York in 1963 to design the couture collection for Elizabeth Arden and in 1965 began his signature ready-to-wear label. When he was appointed as designer to the French couture house of Pierre Balmain in 1992, it was the first time that an American had been chosen for such a prestigious position at the heart of the haute couture.
Today, the company also produces a bridal collection, a fragrance line, a home collection, and a complete range of accessories, including handbags, shoes and jewelry. In 2008, Oscar de la Renta opened its first international stores in Athens and Madrid, and has continued its expansion with the opening of Dubai in 2009.
Mr. de la Renta was chosen to receive The Couture Council Artistry of Fashion Award by the Couture Council Advisory Committee, an independent group consisting of curators, editors, and retailers. Members include Pamela Golbin, curator of the MusÃ©e de la Mode; Akiko Fukai, director and chief curator of the Kyoto Costume Institute; Caroline Milbank, independent curator and author; Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief of Harpers Bazaar; Hamish Bowles, European editor-at-large of Vogue; Ken Downing, fashion director of Neiman Marcus; Linda Fargo, senior vice president of Bergdorf Goodman; Nicole Fishcelis, vice president and fashion director at Macy's; and many distinguished others. Dr. Steele serves as chair.
Oscar de la Renta is one of the leading design houses in the world. The company has seen an influx of great young talent, as it continues to grow and expand as a global brand. De la Renta has also brought in many of his own family members to help build continuity and a foundation for the labelâs future success. His son-in-law Alex Bolen operates as Chief Executive Officer, step-daughter Eliza Bolen serves as Vice President of Licensing, and his son Moises de la Renta works in the Design Studio.