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Oscar de la Renta Laura Kim Fernando Garcia

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Two’s Company

By Phebe Wahl

Photo by Tim Walker, courtesy of Oscar de la Renta

08.27.18

Oscar de la Renta’s Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia update our style file.

“Our woman is no longer that lady who lunches, so it’s our job to update this idea to our existing clientele in a modern, sophisticated way,” explains Fernando Garcia. “Today’s woman is busy, and the clothes need to be comfortable.” Along with co-creative director Laura Kim, Garcia has ushered in a new era at Oscar de la Renta.

The pair share a history that reads like the twisty turns of a fashion fairy tale, as both designers began with Mr. de la Renta—climbing the ranks to later depart and found Monse, then return in 2016 to replace Peter Copping. When asked how they juggle working on the two brands, the pair credits both Monse CEO Renee Prince Fillip and Oscar de la Renta CEO Alex Bolen for their faith; it’s a rarity in the industry to have the freedom to produce for two labels. “We get the job done,” Garcia says. “One week, we might spend seven days at Oscar, and then the next week, we’re at Monse. Trust is key—if we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t be here.”

This fall, the collection was inspired by a trip the pair took with Mr. de la Renta himself to The Cloisters. As for what he would think about the collection? “Oscar never liked over-the-top,” Kim says. “You would hear him say, ‘I just want to do a clean black column gown.’ He loved simplicity, and that feels right for the house now.”