Oscar de la Renta said, “Design without a commercial purpose is just an art project. We’re a business, not an art project”.
I was getting ready for work this morning and as I do every day, I reached across my vanity, not to my Chanel No. 5, but to my Rosamor by Oscar de la Renta. Years back, I fell in love with the fragrance, ironically enough while working for Ralph Lauren fragrances, with its notes of blossoming woody florals, it’s a warm and sensual signature fragrance. My husband of 29 years has been buying it for me for as long as I can remember.
Dan texted me and I looked down. It read, “Oscar de la Renta has passed away at 82.” It was more than a message, because he knows I’m a fashion blogger and would want to know, it was something we have shared as a couple…because Dan buys me Oscar’s fragrance. He enjoys the smell of it on me, is happy to please me, and wants his lady to feel beautiful. It was a bittersweet moment. Mortality’s edges, via a stranger’s death perhaps, can sweep in towards the longer-married couple and awaken those repressed fears, those unsaid things, but it is in those moments we have the opportunity to cherish, to reevaluate, to reboot, if you will.
de la Renta leaves behind his second wife Annette, who the designer wed in 1989. It was also her second marriage. She is a Philanthropist and many reports have noted she had been completely devoted to her husband throughout his cancer treatment, which was ongoing since 2006. When asked about his treatment, de la Renta said, “Yes, I had cancer. Right now, I am totally clean. The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life.”
FIRST LADIES and a PRINCESS
When asked what her thoughts were on the distinction between the business and creative side of the business? Did she believe there needed to be a separation in order for design to be pure and beautiful? Stepdaughter and Vice President of the Company’s Licensing Department, Eliza Bolen, answered, “No, I think they’re all entwined, and we keep it authentic and real. Each division within the company has to tell the same story.”
Eliza’s husband Alex Bolen is at the helm of the label as CEO. He said, “I think one of the great lessons learnt from Oscar is that he focuses a lot on how women lead their lives. And Oscar is someone who’s very much out in the world. Oscar spends a lot of his time at events where someone is wearing a long dress. So he really designs with an emphasis towards making things easier. Solving problems.”
Alex Bohen added, “We use the best fabrics that one can buy and dresses are made by the most talented hands in the world. I think that it’s only when someone has tried the rest of the fashion world that they know, for example, what a perfectly cut armhole is all about. So I think that we want to try to find consumers, at whatever age, who appreciate that level of craftsmanship and quality.”
Fundamentally, Oscar and our company spend our days trying to make women look beautiful, the Bohen’s said.
Rosamor is dedicated to women who Live, Love and Laugh.
Thanks for the great couture, the fragrance and the memories Oscar!
You are forever in our hearts and hopefully in the closets of our dreams.