Oscar de la RentaS

A timeless symbol of galas and awards shows and one of the few remaining members of the industry's old guard, Oscar de la Renta and his eponymous brand have long been associated with glamorous women of all stripes, from First Ladies Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush to younger style makers like Sarah Jessica Parker and Beyoncé. A native of the Dominican Republic, de la Renta got his start working for a number of international fashion houses—Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Elizabeth Arden, in Madrid, Paris, and New York, respectively. When he went off on his own in 1965, it didn't take him very long to make a splash. By the early '70s, he'd established himself as one of the preeminent couturiers in the country. In the late '90s, de la Renta's empire expanded when he licensed his name and introduced a line of accessories including bags, shoes, and belts. He stepped down as chief executive officer in 2004 and handed the reigns to his son-in-law, though he remains chairman of the company.