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Ava Gardner

Before De la Renta embarked on his own couture journey, the young apprentice dreamed of meeting Gardner. The movie star spent some time in Madrid during the 1950s where she was a dedicated client of Cristóbal Balenciaga. As a studio underling in Balenciaga's atelier, De la Renta never met her at work, but he did get the chance to share a dance with her once at a local nightclub. Her beauty, which inspired De la Renta in his early years, continued to influence the elegant aesthetic of his fashion house. Peter Copping also looked to her refined style to influence designs during his tenure as creative director of Oscar de la Renta.