Designer Oscar de la Renta dies at 82: US media

Designer Oscar de la Renta dies at 82: US media

Legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, whose beautiful clothes defined American elegance for generations and were beloved by first ladies and Hollywood stars, died Monday. He was 82.

His company website bore only his trademark signature in white against a navy blue background.

US media reported his death at his home in Kent, Connecticut, quoting family members. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2006.

Earlier this month, his luxury brand announced that British-born designer Peter Copping would take over as creative director although that he would work closely with de la Renta on designing the next collection.

The designer reportedly passed away at his home in Connecticut but worked right up to the end of his life.

Schooled in the mastery of European couture, de la Renta worked until the end of his life, most recently designing the wedding dress for human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, who wed Hollywood heart throb George Clooney in Venice last month. 

One of the world's most eminent designers, his frocks were worn by American first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy and Nancy Reagan to Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, as well as film stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker.

Tributes quickly poured in from friends, celebrities and younger designers who mourned the loss of one of America's most eminent designers.

Former first lady Bush said she and her husband, George W. Bush, were "deeply saddened" by his death, saying he had designed the favorite clothes of her and her twin daughters.

"We will miss Oscar's generous and warm personality, his charm, and his wonderful talents," she said in a statement.

"We will always remember him as the man who made women look and feel beautiful." US singer Gloria Estefan said de la Renta had been "a big part of 3 of my life's biggest moments.

"Much love and peace 2 his family and all who loved him!" she wrote on Twitter.

"Saddened to hear the news about Oscar de la Renta. Thank you for bringing so much beauty into the world #RIP," wrote designer Rebecca Minkoff.

Career spanning five decades

"Truly saddened by the loss of one of the greatest fashion icons of all time," wrote designer and businesswoman Ivanka Trump.

Born on July 22, 1932 in the Dominican Republic, de la Renta left home to study in Madrid and work as an apprentice to Cristobal Balenciaga.

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