Oscar de la Renta doesn’t want any famewhores or C-listers at his fashion shows

Oscar de la Renta has been releasing his inner bitch for the past four years or so. For decades, Oscar was the go-to designer for conservative political wives and conservatively dressed movie stars, but American fashion has changed and many big-name women think Oscar’s designs are somewhat stuffy and/or boring. It doesn’t help that Oscar de la Renta bad-mouthed First Lady Michelle Obama and her style repeatedly, slamming Mobama for “going to Buckingham Palace in a sweater” and claiming that “an anonymous woman on the street is the woman who influences fashion today, not a movie star or a first lady.” Well, now de la Renta is butthurt about how many celebrities go to fashion shows. This really sounds like he’s upset that other designers get all the cool celebrities:

Many people will find one less show invitation in the in-box this season. Oscar de la Renta has had his fill of the megaaudience approach to showing, cramming in “huge crowds of people with no direct connection to the clothes.”

De la Renta wants those attendees with a legitimate professional purpose to be able to see his clothes up close, sans the now-standard pushing, shoving and jostling involved with entrée, exit and sometimes, staking out one’s seat. Given the relatively tight conditions at his most recent venue, his showroom at 11 West 42nd Street, last season the designer staged two 316-seat shows to accommodate those guests as well as others whose reasons for attendance may be more ephemeral. No more. For his spring show on Sept. 10, he will stage a single show with a maximum capacity of 350.

De la Renta focused on the comfort of his professional audience as the reason for downsizing. But when asked if the potential for causing problems for designers following him on the day’s schedule played into his decision, he responded, “No question.” Specifically, he and Narciso Rodriguez, showing Tuesday at 8 p.m., will likely have an overlap of models. De la Renta stressed that while no one from the Rodriguez camp complained last season, when one designer takes two slots in an immensely crowded schedule, it can result in collateral issues. “I hate to inconvenience other people, as I hope other people wouldn’t want to inconvenience me,” he said.

The only solution: De la Renta will slash away at his list of invitees — by numbers that grew hyperbolically in a three-minute conversation.

“When you do megashows, it loses the reason of why we’re showing,” he said, adding that anyone who’s interested can “see the show on the Internet 20 minutes later. It’s important for [certain industry professionals] to look at the clothes and see them. They shouldn’t have to go through 30,000 people, and 10,000 who are trying to take pictures of all of those people who are totally unrelated to the clothes.”

De la Renta added that the typical show frenzy seems suddenly dated.

“I feel [inviting a more targeted audience] is the most manageable way and the most civilized way,” he said. “Why have 20 million people with zero connection to the clothes?”

[From WWD]

He also said that the runway shows have become a “highly chaotic and real circus, the people that do matter aren’t going to be put into the best of moods.” So, basically, Oscar de la Renta wants real fashion people at his shows and now just anonymous famewhores and Kardashians. Which is fine – it’s his show, he can invite who he wants, and quite honestly, I get tired of pretending to care which runway shows Stacy Keibler attends. But the point remains – if Oscar de la Renta was getting requests from the “cool celebrities,” he would feel a lot differently and suddenly, we would find that he doesn’t care so much about only having an audience of fashion professionals. Oh, well. More famewhores for Marchesa.

New York Fashion Week starts on Thursday!! Are you excited?

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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59 Responses to “Oscar de la Renta doesn’t want any famewhores or C-listers at his fashion shows”

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  1. lisa says:

    i will believe it when i see it, today it seems like the c and d listers make the world go round

  2. Sloane Wyatt says:

    I must say that Oscar is looking good! I love his clothes here and his relaxed, healthy demeanor.

    IMO, Oscy should invite whoever he wants, and if his menswear is any indication of where he’s taking his women’s line, I can’t wait to see it.

    • cs says:

      Oscar Stop it!! the documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor touched on this very subject. The fashion industry is now a corporation. There’s no more designing 200 dresses for a fashion show and expecting rich woman around the world to buy your $100k gowns. Having HW actresses wearing your clothes is the staple for most designers today. Michael Kors get it.. He recently cited Blake Lively, GOOP, Angelina Jolie, Rihanna and JLO as his inspiration for designing his latest clothing line and new venture into cosmetics/perfumes.

  3. Bianca says:

    Well, I can’t help but love bitchy designers.

    • Eleonor says:

      Me too! I’d love to have a tea with him or Karl Lagerfeld. And Choupette, of course.
      I bet they could tell a lot of very interesting stories.

    • Mel says:

      I was just thinking the exact opposite. Runway shows are bs if you ask me. Most of that stuff is both unoriginal and unwearable. Which explains why they have to drape that crap on half-starved teenage waifs just to make fugly clothes look halfway interesting. So it gets my goat when the designers act as though they are artistes instead of conmen who have tricked the world into believing they do anything smart or innovative. Just shut up and be grateful that the famewhores are paying for your coke habit, Oscar.

      • Pandora says:

        Lol, pajama-jeans in a bunch much??

      • emmie_a says:

        Wow… Some designers are true artists. Not all but some. And I don’t agree that all runway is ‘bs’. Couture shows don’t necessarily feature wearable items but that’s sometimes what couture is — one-of-a-kind ‘artsy’ creations. But there are also made-to-wear runway shows which feature the clothes that you see in the stores.

        And I’m with you Bianca – Love bitchy designers. And Oscar has proven himself and been around long enough to dictate what he wants.

      • LAK says:

        Alot of the ‘unwearable stuff’ filters down to the high street.

        The original idea may appear ‘unwearable’, but plenty of examples of such items translating beautifully to the mass market.

      • Mindy says:

        I think the real geniuses are the designers who transform all that abstract nonsense into wearable, even flattering clothes.

        Most people who do splash on the runway stuff are really just paying for the brand name. So its in the designers interest to market himself as an exclusive, hard-to-get ticket. Its an industry of gimmicks just like this guy.

      • Denise says:

        Very little is actually unwearable, it just seems that way if all you’re seeing is the freak aspect in media clips.

  4. Feebee says:

    Ugh, for all the times models are told to shut it and look pretty when they say dumb things, the same could be said for the likes of Oscar. Just shut up and make pretty things. Maybe he likes the attention Karl gets.

    However, he does make a couple of good points.

    • Annie says:

      Why would you want him to shut up, especially when you realize that he has good points? Why would anyone have to just “shut up and just make pretty things”? That’s a horrible thing to say. He’s not wrong. Way too many c-listers go to these things to get attention. They don’t care about fashion, they go to have their picture taken. He’s right to be upset about that. Only people who matter in the fashion world should be there.

      • idontknowyouyoudontknowme says:

        “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”.

        Never have truer words been spoken… all these “hot trends” are nothing more than recycled pieces, “inspired” by other designers, and people spend their hard earned money since wearing or owning these couture pieces is a status symbol.

        While I dont agree with the endless famewhoring and unfortunately reporting on C/D list celebs, especially when they are elevated to fashion icon status when it is really their stylist and teams claim to fame, however really? “Only fashion people should attend”? What I hate the most about this world is the endless elitism and hypocrisy.

      • mercy says:

        Would sites like this one cover fashion shows if only people in the fashion world were allowed to attend? The shows would probably only be of interest to the fashion world, tbh.

        Most designers need or want the attention of the general public, and that’s where the celebrities factor in. They get their picture taken, and the designer gets more exposure.

        And who says a “c-lister” can’t care as much about fashion as an “a-lister”? Or a model? Some of them dress pretty badly off the runway. Some of those “c-listers” might also be more loyal to the designers and eager to be seen wearing their clothes, too. I don’t care what Jessica Alba or Kate Bosworth are wearing, but you can be sure they will make themselves available for photos wearing de la Renta and other designers.

        And since when has Oscar become such a snob? He has licensed his name to merchandise over the years that would hardly be considered “a-list”-worthy.

        I think CB’s take was spot on.

    • Hakura says:

      @Feebee – I imagine *you* don’t enjoy being told to ‘shut up, no one cares what *you* think or feel, get back to work‘.

      No one should be saying that to anyone, models included. If you don’t like what someone has to say, respond to express your opinion, or ignore it.

    • bluecalling says:

      why? he is absolutely correct. there were other articles talking about how designers have to do sometimes up to 10 shows a year. that is a lot of wear and tear on someone who is an “artist” and the artisans with them. the suicide of mcqueen and substance abuse of galliano was also mentioned as how the designers are coping. yes, they have a privileged position but they cannot keep up. so if you want high fashion, you have to respect those who do high fashion (and others should stop copying their sh!t). i can afford one of their dresses every five years. but i love the shows and appreciate what they do. and even i, a lay person, miss the time when there were 2-4 shows and you looked forward to them and were not bombarded with nothingness.

    • HH says:

      Shut up? Really? It’s an INTERVIEW whose purpose is to elicit responses from it’s subject. It’s not as though Oscar is just giving random musings on life. He’s talking about the fashion industry, you know, his DIRECT line of work.

    • Feebee says:

      Wow, really? I said the same “could” be said for Oscar. Not that I condone it being said, only that it has been for “the talent” for years. Yes he was making some good points, as I also stated. His hyperbolic numbers and snotty undertones however turn me off.

      He is the designer, if he doesn’t want famewhores at his shows then fine. But to say he doesn’t want 20 million attendees with no connection to the clothes? Maybe I’m mixing up brands, he obviously doesn’t need celebrities in his clothes to help sell them. He was certainly upset that the first lady didn’t choose him. Maybe she didn’t have a connection with his clothes.

  5. Samtha says:

    He’s right, though. The celebs who turn up make it a circus and take focus away from the actual clothes. Of course, the trade off is that there’s more press for the shows with more celebs.

    • HH says:

      Agreed. Also, I like that he’s directing his frustration towards the industry itself. There have been multiples times when a celebrity is hours (yes, plural) for a show, and everything is put on hold until they arrive at their seat. In these instances, designers have let their hard work be held hostage by an audience member. The fashion industry has given celebs this power and they have themselves to blame.

  6. DT says:

    I absolutely love his clothes but they are way, way above my pay scale. His work is gorgeous.

  7. Talie says:

    He got some attention on his show last season, but only because of stunt hiring John Galliano.

  8. Tish says:

    Gotta love snobby designers!

    • Tapioca says:

      This story could be apocryphal but I love it:

      When Tom Ford was creative director at Gucci, he spotted Victoria Beckham out and about wearing some of his designs. Worried about the negative effect that this could have on the brand, he allegedly called his London PR and demanded to know who was responsible for putting Posh into the outfit.

      The PR told him that she had bought the clothes at full price at the Gucci shop. Ford is reported to have screeched: “Well, somebody stop her!”

      • LAK says:

        i don’t know about the Gucci story, but i know that McQueen definitely banned her from wearing his clothes and instructed the shops not to serve her. She was furious and publicly said she would never wear any of it. That said, she was snapped wearing one of his dresses when she began her ‘fashion designer’ re-invention after his death.

        I remember a time when just about the only designer to align themselves with her publicly was Roberto Cavalli, and that is when her image was at it’s most trashy.

      • Faye says:

        I remember reading that story! It really is funny, especially when you consider how downright whorish some of TF’s Gucci stuff was.

        That being said, there is a big difference between a designer trying to dictate who buys his/her clothes from stores (insanity) versus a designer wanting the attention at his/her runway shows to be on the clothes and not on the oodles of celebrities and bloggers posing in front of the venue.

  9. Frida_K says:

    Well, I guess that means that this year’s invite to Pimp Mama Karskankian won’t be in the mail any time soon.


    • Dawn says:

      Hopefully ALL the Kardashians will be left out, not just PMK. They are all so trashy in everything they say and do it is almost like his is talking directly to them. And no reality star should be considered A list ever.

  10. Mia 4S says:

    Come on Oscar! Jessica Alba, Kate Bosworth, and their friends have bills to pay! ;-)

  11. Pterille says:

    I read so many complaints at myriad genre of sites all around the web bemoaning that famewhores are taking over the media, and how people are staging any and all degrading and tragically-transparent attention-seeking antics possible in an effort to get “famous”, so I concur with and respect Oscar for trying to make it about the fashion again.

    If more newsworthy types would not allow themselves, their venues, their livelihood, and the cameras that follow them to be used as photo ops — and possibly even cause some unseemly disturbance to do so — then just maybe the famemongers will get less press and we’ll see less of them. As many use how they dress (often beyond attention-seeking and trashy) I hope he sets a trend others will follow.

    I saw a meme the other day that summed up, for me, what we have become; it depicted a teenage girl joyfully looking at a positive pregnancy test and the caption was, “MOM! Call MTV!”

  12. Hakura says:

    I’ve been wondering… Due to Kanye’s somewhat recent ‘foray into fashion’ by releasing his so called ‘clothing line’ (which is basically Hanes His Way w/exorbitant price tags), as well as his noted friendships w/many designers… Will this automatically get Kim into the top fashion shows?

    Even with Kanye, she’s still not a source of ‘positive advertisement/association’ for anyone, & exactly the type of ‘celebrity’ Oscar doesn’t want anywhere near he & his clothing. & you can bet Kim’s fake ass that Kris would do whatever she could to ride their coattails into these shows.

    • dagdag says:


      I think Kim doesn`t have the personality for high fashion. She is not creative, has no opinion, can`t hold a conversation and just seems boring, just real slow.

      Her style of fashion means to be sexy, whatever that means. The family seems so dull and petty despite their expensive clothes and sourroundings..

  13. bns says:

    I really hope that the constant obsession and overexposure of celebrities is winding down.

    I love me some celebrity gossip every now and then, but sometimes it’s too much.

  14. Shy says:

    I agree with him, now if magazines would only go back to putting models on their covers instead of overexposed celebrities. I miss the 80′s, so sick of all those irrelevant famewhores.

    • metallicwow says:

      Me too. I think the original purpose of Fashion Week has been lost in all the people who just want their photos taken. It is a circus, but I doubt it’ll swing back. Once you let the cat out of the bag….

  15. aquarius64 says:

    I think the complaints about the C-listers are that some have such trashy images they cheapen the labels they wear. Remember the story about designers not wanting Kim Kardashian wearing their clothes? Coco Chanel must be whirling in her grave because of Miley Cyrus. It seems once a train wreck celeb puts on a garment it devalues the outfit and the brand.

  16. anna says:

    Then why did he design the wedding dress for Kate Bosworth? She’s C-list if I ever saw one.

  17. OhDear says:

    How is he going to measure where a celebrity ranks on the scale? And what if a C or D-lister is connected to someone who’s higher up on the scale (e.g. that Helmsworth guy and his wife)? If he’s invited, sill de la Renta turn her away at the door?

    • mercy says:

      Good point.

      Most of the market for couture aren’t on any list, and their taste (not to mention how they got their money) is often questionable. They’re extremely wealthy patrons who probably don’t look half as good in the clothes as most celebs (Kim K excluded), and certainly won’t bring as much attention to the brand.

      The big money for designers comes not from the couture and high-end runway clothes that relatively few can afford, but from licensing their names to fragrance, makeup, handbags, accessories, etc. That money funds their more artistic aspirations. Generally speaking, the larger and more diverse the audience for those items, the better.

  18. Bridget says:

    This is interesting to me. De la Renta has kind of a stuffy, older-skewing image and doesn’t get a ton of red carpet play – but then again, he’s not really selling to an audience that looks to the celebrity crowd for fashion inspiration. I would be willing to bet that what threw him over the edge was how much these C List celebrties were demanding in appearance fees – celebrities that he probably could care less if they appeared in his clothes. It’ll be interesting to see how all of this works out.

  19. annaloo. says:

    I think there’s a point to be made about the over saturation of today’s media female interest when we are looking at pics and reading about the exploits of reality stars, sex tape entrepreneurs and people who know how to make a scene more than they do an artistic statement. I agree with him, I’d want my events to have a mire curated audience too.

  20. ds says:

    And yet, Kate Bosworth wore his custom made wedding gown… That’s an A list right there. Or is she real people? I’m confused.

  21. stinky says:

    i think he just wants to be the star of his own show… thats how it used to be.
    the designer was the one everyone cared about – not the audience.

  22. kitty says:

    so no Minka Kelly??

  23. Anon says:

    Oscar de le Renta and Michael Douglas have a lot in common.
    Well, Oscar just hasn’t gotten it–yet.

  24. Megan says:

    as someone who works in fashion and attends these shows, I love this idea.

  25. Jay says:

    I don’t give a damn about his comments – ODLR is one of the most talented fashion designers alive. His clothes are always exquisitely made, elegant and just a delight to see coming down a runway – and they’re wearable, to boot, even his couture stuff. ODLR is my absolute favourite design house of all time. Some of his ready-to-wear stuff may actually be in my budget some day if I get a job in my intended future career, too! :D