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The designer received an especially prolonged, personal tribute on NBC’s Today show, where correspondent Jenna Bush Hager recalled her friendship with the designer, whom she got to know when he made her wedding dress. Wearing a dark green Oscar de la Renta sheath dress, which Hager said she was already planning to wear that morning before she woke up to the tragic news, Hager seemed to be fighting back tears as she paid tribute to de la Renta and recalled the experience of having him design her wedding dress, which he presented to her and was right with his selection, she said, despite Hager recalling that she thought she would want to pick out her dress.
“It was the first dress he showed me. I put it on and he said, ‘And now, to the most important accessory,’ and he handed me his arm and he said, ‘the man.’ I put my arm in his arm, and I got to walk through his showroom with Oscar de la Renta,” Hager recalled.
She later revealed that she told her then-fiance Henry Hager that he had “some big shoes to fill.”
“I just adored him and I will think of him often,” Hager said.
De La Renta also dressed her mother, former first lady Laura Bush. And Hager seconded her mother’s thoughts: “She said what I think is very true, that he made more than anything women feel beautiful.”
Earlier in the show, Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive talked about his status as a legend and his design style, including how it changed over the decades. Leive said that while de la Renta was known for designing for the rich and famous, he still had an influence on how the everyday woman dressed.
Read more Hollywood Mourns Oscar de la Renta
“He said it himself in his biography that success was not what fashion editors and celebrities love, it’s when you see an anonymous woman on the street wearing it,” Leive said. “He was the king of evening, but you can also find a terrific, tailored Oscar suit or dress to wear to work.”
Today‘s main news story on de la Renta’s death also included insights from Kevin Jones of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and a clip from a memorable Sex and the City episode featuring one of his dresses. The show also covered the social media reaction to the designer’s death in its orange room.
CBS This Morning also kept its coverage of de la Renta’s death brief, but in a three-minute segment, Charlie Rose reported on the death of his friend and shared clips of de la Renta speaking with him in 1998 on his eponymous PBS show and on CBS This Morning last year. Yahoo Style editor-in-chief Joe Zee also shared his thoughts on de la Renta with CBS.
“He had such a deep, profound respect for women in the way that they were portrayed and the way that they were seen and also in the way that they were dressed. Every single thing that he can design and put on somebody just had so much class,” Zee said.
At the end of the segment, Rose revealed what it was like to know the designer.
“It’s hard to talk about him, but he was a man who had taste and talent. He loved people. Conversation at his table was always wonderful. And he loved to play cards and he loved to sing. His next-door neighbor in the Dominican Republic was Julio Iglesias and to see the two of them singing together was a great experience,” Rose said.
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