Michelle Obama wore her first piece by Oscar de la Renta's son Moises publicly in September of last year. “I had gotten in contact with a woman named Ikram, and she had liked some of the pieces,” Moises explained at the Museo del Barrio gala last night. Ironically, Moises was using his father Oscar’s showroom at the time, though the First Lady has yet to wear the elder De la Renta’s designs. “And it was very funny, [Ikram] was like, ‘I have a very special friend I’d like to show this to.’ And you know, I didn’t know, obviously, it was the First Lady, and I get a phone call maybe a week and a half, two weeks later, ‘Hey, could you make this for so-and-so?’” he said. “I was speechless; I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s your special friend?’” It was a surreal experience, the younger De la Renta says, a matter of being in the right place at the right time. “And it was so great because it was actually my first full collection, it was fall, and, you know, it happened just to be, like, crazy timing.” And yes, the publicity has been good. “It helped my business greatly, and it’s something that I’m very grateful for.”
Moises says that his capsule collection of tees for Mango did well, and he and the retailer are in talks to possibly team up this fall on another, bigger, limited-edition collection.
Meanwhile, under his own MDLR label, he is launching jewelry and furs, hopefully by the end of the summer. The jewelry is costume with prices ranging from accessible to low high-end. The designer says he’s always been into jewelry, and the majority of the new collection is very geometric, of wood and gold, with no stones or gems.
The furs he describes as a “seasonless spring trip.” “It’s just little vests and hoodies and such, and really simple, throw-on things; you’re going to an event like this, you’re a young girl and you’re going to a cocktail party, have your dress, just throw that on.” De la Renta looked up as the guests rushed inside, dripping from the evening downpour. “Well, maybe you don’t want to wear fur in the rain,” he said.