- At age 7 tried to manufacture perfume by collecting dewdrops from flowers.
- Became fascinated with fashion design while studying painting in Madrid.
- Apprenticed with famed designer Cristobal Balenciaga in Madrid and later worked as an assistant to Antonio del Castillo in Paris.
- Made a spectacular debut in 1956 when one of his first dresses was commissioned for Beatrice Lodge, the daughter of then-U.S. ambassador to Spain John Davis Lodge, to wear at her coming out ball in Madrid, and was featured on the cover of Life magazine.
- Believing the future was in ready-to-wear, he came to New York City in 1963 to work with Elizabeth Arden.
- Launched his own label in 1965.
- Has designed dresses for First Ladies Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush.
- Co-founded orphanage La Casa del Niño in 1982 and adopted his son from there.
- Annette Engelhard — Wife
- Carmen Maria Antonia Fiallo — Mother
- Moises de la Renta — Son
- Francoise de Langlade — Wife (deceased)
- Eliza Bolen — Stepdaughter
- Oscar Avelino de la Renta — Father
- Jean Marc Bruere — Stepson
- San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Madrid, Spain
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