By Beatrice E. Rangel
Oscar de la Renta was not a fashion designer. Rather, he rather was a sculptor of beauty and a gardener of good.
While famous for having turned world icons such as Jackie Kennedy; Nancy Reagan; Violeta Chamorro, Sarah Jessica Parker and Amal Alamuddin into immortal beloveds, his silent work was much more impressive.
He made a difference in the lives of thousands of children and youngsters in his home country through the establishment of schools, granting of scholarships, and financing of health care. More than one child was able to see thanks to de la Renta’s generosity.
Born in the Dominican Republic, de la Renta's formative years were spent in Madrid and Paris. Cristóbal Balenciaga the master couturier sourced his talent in Madrid and Jeanne Marie Lanvin in Paris.
The young Oscar Aristide however was gifted with a special talent that led him to become the Sherpa of taste and the leader of beauty. He could bring together the volatility of music; the serenity of color and the strength of form in a dress.
This formula gave birth to women who felt sensitive enough to be feminine and strong enough to lead the world. He also was the master of balance. He dressed first ladies, red carpet icons, and rich heiresses.
But he also gave many other women the robes of hope and self assurance through education and enlightenment. Many so called children of the streets found in his ateliers, homes and factories a spiritually enriching job and a role model to follow.
He was flirtatious and gallant, joyful and fun. Fame and fortune were for him means to achieve social or cultural goals, never to court ego.
And he was an advocate of women’s leadership. As the youngest of seven children -- and the only boy in his family -- de la Renta understood better than anyone the feminine ethos. And based on that understanding he created clothes and perfumes.
He was also a staunch believer in the creative potential of Latin America.
Having lived in Paris and New York he found La Romana and Punta Cana enthralling and attracting. Most recently, he became an enthusiastic practitioner of Porter’s Shared Value business practice. And his designs turned into a palette of handmade materials originating from nations of our hemisphere; embroideries made by women of low income families and tissues painted by young and still learning artists.
New York has lost one of its most shinning stars who by virtue of believing in the everlasting effects of kindness brought the city closer to paradise. His friends will of course miss his phone calls that always started with “ Hi Darling! Fill me in with the gossip!!” Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet seriesBeatrice Rangel: Communism from China to Cuba Finds Corruption!!!
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Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.