After the news of 82-year-old fashion designer Oscar de la Renta's death broke, American model and close friend Karlie Kloss shared a tribute and photograph of the designer with her followers via Instagram. The model wrote a heartfelt note to sum up her feelings about Oscar's death. She wrote:
"The world lost one of the most extraordinary people that I have ever met. Thank you for helping me become the woman I am today and for always inspiring me to be better. There simply is no one else like you."
Earlier this year, Karlie praised the designer, who she met at the beginning of her career, saying just how much he influenced her. She wrote the story:
The first time I met Oscar de la Renta, I was 15 years old. I’d just started high school and was in New York City for my first full Fashion Week. I remember going to my first Oscar de la Renta fitting and sitting in his Garment District atelier, just studying everything hanging on the walls. The room was filled with beautiful creations from Oscar’s world—embroidered fabrics in rich hues, sparkling gems, and extraordinary sketches. It was chaotic but beautiful, like everything around me. This tall, tan, and elegant man walked into the room and introduced himself.
Oscar had sophistication and ease, but most of all, he made me feel comfortable and at home. For a moment, I forgot about being young, new, and having never worn a designer gown before. From that first meeting, I saw Oscar’s genius, but also felt his humility and humor. He radiated a true dedication, grace, and love. Since that meeting, I have walked in many shows for Oscar and am so proud and thankful to be a tiny part of his amazing story.
Through his years as a designer, he has dressed an esteemed group of women from Audrey Hepburn to Jackie O. and Oprah. When I wear his gowns, I try to embody the spirit of these women and bring Oscar’s brilliant vision to life. On the runway and off, models are often indexed against big moments—covers, campaigns, and runway shows. In the midst of this, however, most of us are just growing up; experiencing moments in this industry that will never be captured on film, but will inspire and shape us as we grow.
For me, meeting Oscar de la Renta was one of those uncaptured but formative moments in my modeling career. Every time I’m with Oscar, he imbues me with the same confidence and ease as on that first day. His mentorship, kindness, and friendship continue to guide and inform my approach to life. The Oscar woman is confident, understated, and elegant—a true lady. I feel honored just to know him.