Óscar Aristides de la Renta Fiallo (born July 22, 1932) is one of the world's leading fashion designers. Trained by Cristóbal Balenciaga and Antonio Castillo, he became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers to dress Jacqueline Kennedy. An award-winning designer, he worked for Lanvin and Balmain; his eponymous fashion house continues to dress leading figures, from film stars to royalty, into the 2010s. De La Renta is particularly known for his red carpet gowns and evening wear.
De la Renta was born Oscar Aristides de la Renta Fiallo in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to a Dominican mother, Maria Antonia Fiallo, and a Puerto Rican father, Oscar Avelino de la Renta. The Fiallos were so embedded in Dominican society that they could count poets, scholars, and businessmen as well as top army brass among their members. One of Maria Antonia's brothers, Aristides Fiallo Cabral, was an intellectual- a doctor, lawyer, architect, and recipient of every degree the University of Santo Domingo could confer. Another brother, Fabio Fiallo, was a diplomat and poet. On his father's side, de la Renta's great great grandfather José Ortíz de la Renta was the first constitutional mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico to be elected by popular vote. He served as mayor from 1812 to 1814, from 1815 to 1816, from 1820 to 1821, from 1823 to 1826, from 1837 to 1838, from 1842 to 1843, from 1843 to 1844, and 1846. He had the distinction of having held the office of mayor of Ponce the most-eight times.
At the age of 18 he left the Dominican Republic to study in Spain, where he studied painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. He quickly became interested in the world of fashion design and began sketching for leading Spanish fashion houses, which soon led to an apprenticeship with Spain's most renowned couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga. Later, de la Renta left Spain to join Antonio Castillo as a couture assistant at Lanvin in Paris.