Anna Wintour Remembers Oscar de la Renta

October 21, 2014 BY STEVE DOOL


Designer Oscar de la Renta passed away yesterday at age 82 after a long battle with cancer. This morning, published Editor in Chief Anna Wintour's tribute to the legend, her personal friend. An excerpt is included below.

There is much being said that his passing yesterday marks the end of an era. Not true. He was the most democratic man I knew and he would have lived happily and defined any era. He was happy dining with the rich and famous, for sure, but equally happy playing dominoes with his devoted staff. His designs reflected his extraordinary personality: optimistic, fun, sunny, romantic. At dinner this summer—just the two of us—he told fascinating stories about his life in Paris and later working for Miss Arden who apparently always called Helena Rubinstein “that woman.” The conversation became more serious and he told me he felt he had had the most amazing life and he was not afraid. This strength must have been with him in the hospital last week when he made the decision to turn off treatment; it was not the quality of life he wanted.

He always said accept your friends for who they are, not for who you want them to be. Oscar was everything you could want a friend to be. Annette was his perfect partner, creating those magical houses and gardens together, giving extraordinary seemingly effortless dinners, and always taking care of each other. She slept on a cot in the hospital every night he was there. Theirs was the greatest, most life-enhancing love affair. Last week in the hospital he said that she never wears the beautiful jewelry he gave her, and she said simply, “I have you.”

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