Last night, the fashion world suffered a major blow with the death of Oscar de la Renta, legendary designer turned celebrity in his own right, who lost his longtime battle with cancer at the age of 82.
While every major media outlet has run retrospectives on the man and his career, his company’s communications team has been quietly respectful. This morning Erika Bearman (aka OscarPRGirl) posted the above photo on Instagram and linked to the company’s home page, which featured a handwritten note from his stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolen and her husband, Alex Bolen (who serve as the company’s executive VP and CEO).
Full letter after the jump.
We write to let you know that Oscar passed away last night at home in Connecticut surrounded by family, friends and more than a few dogs. He died exactly as he lived: with tremendous grace, great dignity and very much on his own terms.
While our hears are broken by the idea of life without Oscar, he is still very much with us. Oscar’s hard work, his intelligence and his love of life are at the heart of our company. All that we have done, and all that we will do, is informed by his values and his spirit. Through Oscar’s example, we know the way forward. We will make Oscar very proud of us by continuing in an even stronger way the work that Oscar loved so much.
We are working on the formal arrangements to celebrate Oscar’s life. As those plans are finalized, we will let you know.
In the meantime, thank you for your friendship, loyalty and support.
Love, Alex and Eliza
In the meantime:
- Here’s an excellent series of remembrances via de la Renta’s colleagues collected by Wall Street Journal fashion reporter Elizabeth Holmes
- Here’s an “Oscar de la Renta’s life in photos” slideshow in TIME
- Here he is talking to Eric Wilson of The New York Times in 2007 about the process of choosing pieces for his Fall collection:
Fair to say that, while many in the fashion industry aspire to his status, none can or will replace him.