Remembering Oscar de la Renta

Last week, Oscar De la Renta passed away. I think it’s important that we honor and remember the Latino Legends that come before us. I had a personal relationship with Oscar De La Renta. When I was 17 years old, I interviewed him as a teen reporter for the PBS series Checking It Out, produced by a Latina TV Pioneer Aida Barrera (another incredible Latina we will be featuring in depth soon). When I met Mr. De La Renta, he exemplified everything I wanted to model myself after. He was fully Latino. He loved his Dominican roots, spoke Spanish with delight, and hired mostly Latinos. He was also fully American, dressing celebrities, appearing in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar regularly, and had a career that he loved and that he made a lot of money in. All this, allowed him to give back generously to his community, funding an orphanage in the Dominican Republic , among many other charities. He was also into real estate. He developed Casa De Campo, a resort community in Santo Domingo, where he hired thousands of Latinos, and which made the Dominican Republic a major tourist destination. I don’t know anyone who better exemplifies Mission and Money.