Oscar de la Renta has no plans, at the age of 75, to follow in the footsteps of Valentino Garavani by selling his business and retiring. In fact, he is so set on squashing those rumors that he sat down for a lengthy (19 pages online!) interview with WWD, along with his chief executive officer (and son-in-law), Alexander Bolenwith.
De la Renta says that while five years ago, before C.E.O. Alexander came into the mix, he might have considered selling his company and name, but he now says that he is most certainly not looking to do so. Alexander, bluntly adds “the company is absolutely not for sale. At this point, over my dead body.”
When asked about retiring the Dominican designer says “Why would I do that? I love my work. I love what I do. The best time for me is when I’m in my studio working with my assistants. I have a fantastic team of assistants that I’m really proud of and I get along with well, and I love what I do.”
When it comes to discussing the company’s growth, Alexander says that the focus of retail for the Oscar de la Renta brand is international and that despite the fact that the brand’s name is very well known internationally, it is still relatively small. They are therefore embarking upon a strategy to increase their wholesale distribution and points of sale, saying that they “are now in between 70 and 75 doors around the world, and that literally is up from one door five years ago.”
Another interesting point that came-up was a discussion on accessories. De la Renta said that he is looking to build-up his accessory business in a much stronger way to penetrate new markets in a stronger manner, adding that he loves “accessories, because accessories are unbelievably important, but you know, I am a designer of clothes, and accessories are very, very important. I always said, regardless of when I see a woman, strange enough, I never look at what she is wearing. I first look at the shoes to see if she is well dressed.”
Photos courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.