PaperCity Magazine

October 2017- Houston

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KEEPERS OF THE FLAME F irst a little h i s t o r y : L a u r a Kim and Fernando Garcia have led a rich creative life at Oscar de la Renta — more than 20 years combined, which included designing a very celebrated wedding dress for Amal Clooney. Both were recruited into the OdlR brand via de la Renta himself, who spotted their talents during internships. Kim rose to become design director for OdlR, overseeing the entire collection including accessories. She speaks of de la Renta as being like a father. Garcia's path was parallel; his role at OdlR, over six years, was principal designer. He is credited with reaching out to the celebrity clientele, dressing Hollywood headliners and influencers from Emma Stone and Lady Gaga to Selena Gomez and Blake Lively, equating the brand with young, beautiful, and rising red-carpet royals. The pair, who departed the fashion house in 2014 to start their own label, Monse, is poignantly documented in a recent New York Times profile, down to the story of how Hillary Clinton, who happened to be at the studio that fateful day, smoothed over the drama when they told Oscar they were leaving. In September 2016, two years after de la Renta's death, the designers were invited back by Alex Bolen, CEO of de la Renta and de la Renta's son-in-law, as co-creative directors of OdlR. The duo would go on to have the best of both worlds: heading two brands, and doing so under the OdlR umbrella. Kim and Garcia now preside from the light-filled West 42nd Street atelier where de la Renta once reigned and where they both began as interns. They share the office that belonged to their mentor, which is very much as its late founder left it — brimming with his books and photographs, which now inspire OdlR and Monse forward. 5 MINUTES W I T H FERNANDO G A R C I A : You r relationship with Oscar. FG: We had a family rela- tionship and were extremely honest on how to move the house forward and grow the business. He taught us to listen to everyone around us and laugh everyday. What piece in OdlR or Monse is the perfect hybrid of both collections? FG: Monse SS18, Look 35, is something an Oscar client would understand. Look 1 in the Oscar show is most definitely something a Monse client would gravitate towards. In the ODLR exhibition, your most important imprint. FG: The Amal Clooney gown. Something, Laura, Oscar, and myself worked hard on. On the eve of an expansive retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, for the fashion house they co-helm — the iconic Oscar de la Renta — PaperCity conducts a Q&A with designers LAURA KIM and FERNANDO GARCIA. Co-creative directors of OdlR and founders of their own label, Monse, the duo are winners of this year's CFDA Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent for their take on deconstructed glamour. The pair weighs in on being keepers of the impeccable DE LA RENTA LEGACY. BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia Here and below, Oscar de la Renta resort 2018 Monse, Spring/Summer 2018, Look 35 Oscar de la Renta, Spring 2018, Look 1

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