Dear friends, I trust you are well. My apologies in advance for the longer than usual letter but this message is most important and I hope that you will take the time to read it. A few hours before I was scheduled to leave to China for a press event at Strasburgo in Beijing and Shanghai that had been in preparation for months, I received the sad news that Oscar de la Renta had passed away. The sadness was deepened by the realization that I would not be able to be in New York for the funeral. It is my belief that when someone passes they return to pure, positive light but it is still sad for those left behind.
I am so honored and grateful that I knew Oscar and had the opportunity to collaborate with him at his own label and at Balmain Haute Couture. The experience was priceless. I learned so much that I will always carry with me and it all informs my work and my life. Perhaps even more important I learned from him that one should always be a gentleman, kind and acknowledge everyone as a fellow human being. As a boy and as a man I looked up to him, he was and always will be our Dominican Treasure. He shared his light with the world and we all carry a bit of that light within us. As I read all the comments about Oscar from our industry my sadness began to subside and my heart filled with joy at the realization that he was so loved and admired by everyone who encountered him. What a beautiful legacy.
Ironically another collaboration that had been in the works for a year was scheduled to launch the day after he passed- An exhibition of my limited edition- archival reissued belts that were first shown on Oscar’s Fall 2000 runway. They were to be exhibited and sold on the wonderful new site Dara Artisans. Anyone that knows me well knows that I only work with people that I respect and trust. The team at Dara confirmed their values by deciding to postpone the launch out of respect for Oscar’s passing. The exhibition is now live. Please see below this letter for the links and information.
When I was accepted into the CFDA 10 years ago I received the call that I was new member, soon after I received call from one of my brothers informing me that our dad had passed away. This was a similar experience exactly ten years later as wonderful events are developing in my life I received the sad news of another prominent male figure in my life passing.
And so we move forward, we celebrate those we have lost and we carry a bit of their light within us. Live, love and spread joy…
Please take some time to explore the news below about Dara Artisans, the art show SOFA in Chicago, Creative Collective Col-LAB Project 7 and some images from the press event in China.
New Odyssey Collection by Simon Alcantara: Campaign and Project #5 Produced by Creative Collective Col-LAB
Mengly Hernandez decked out in Simon Alcantara's south sea mother of pearl, black coral, rose quartz and 14kt gold necklace at the post CFDA Awards 2014 celebrations.
Click above to read full article and photo gallery
First two images styled by Vava Mareviceff-Ignatenko for Noir and Italian Vanity Fair. Third image Styled by Tim Bitici for A Magazine. 4th image styled by Greg Wein for Grey LIne Map by Miguel Peña SS 2014 Runway Show NYFW Pier 59. Photo by: Amanda Lobo