Born in the Dominican Republic, Oscar de la Renta traveled to Madrid in 1950 when he was 18 years of age to study painting
. He soon found himself drawn to fashion and design and started working in the industry by sketching for Spanish fashion houses which eventually led to an apprenticeship with Cristóbal Balenciaga. A few years later the opportunity to work as couture assistant at Lanvin with Antonio Castillo was offered to de la Renta and he moved to Paris to continue his training. De la
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Renta eventually found himself at Christian Dior designing shoes and accessories but in 1963 the opportunity came for him to design the couture collection for Elizabeth Arden. As Arden was not a designer, de la Renta was able to make a name for himself with her and within two years left to start his own label. His first collection in 1965 was a success and he would go on to design not only couture and ready to wear apparel for men and women, but also license his name to a number of products such as jewellery, home furnishings, luggage and fragrances.
De la Renta launched his first women`s perfume, Oscar, in 1977 which was to become a bestseller in over 70 countries. His first men`s cologne Pour Lui was introduced in 1980 but it was not until 1999 that the counterpart to his popular perfume, Oscar for Men, was launched. Other popular de la Renta women`s perfume include Esprit d`Oscar, Intrusion, Oscar Gold and Oscar Red Satin.