Hillary Clinton appeared at Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall today to pay tribute to the late fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. The U.S. Postal Service unveiled a stamp in his honor, with one stamp featuring a photograph of de la Renta and 10 others that are close-up of his designs. Clinton gave a nod to de la Renta's Dominican heritage, "Oscar de la Renta was an immigrant … and aren’t we proud and grateful that he was?"
Janice Walker, vice president of U.S.P.S. Corporate Communications said, "The Postal Service is proud to honor Oscar de la Renta for his genius and pioneering leadership in the fashion industry. These beautiful stamps illustrate his highly polished style and tremendous skill, which helped bridge the gap between American and French designers of trend-setting fashions for women.”
“Our family and our company are profoundly honored that the U.S. Postal Service has chosen to memorialize Oscar de la Renta’s life and work with this series of beautiful stamps,” Alexander Bolen, the CEO of the fashion brand who is married to de la Renta's stepdaughter. "Oscar was proud to be an American and this would have made him tremendously happy. To commemorate his personal version of the American dream with these stamps is a great honor for which we thank the U.S. Postal Service."
— U.S. Postal Service (@USPS) February 16, 2017
Clinton shared how she started her friendship with de la Renta, at the 1993 Kennedy Center Honors. According to WWD, she said, "I had bought this dress off the rack and Oscar and Annette were among the guests. Oscar goes through the receiving line. As I’m shaking his hand and welcoming him to the White House, he says, ‘That’s my dress.’ I said, ‘Yes, it is.’ He said, ‘Where did you get it?’ I told him. He said, ‘Well, I’m calling you tomorrow.’ And he did."
On this "Day Without Immigrants," the former Secretary of State emphasized de la Renta's immigrant success story in her speech:
“In the corner of these striking stamps, it says, ‘USA forever,’” Clinton continued. “Let us remember what is durable and lasting about Oscar’s legacy. Of course it is the fashion, it is the great worldly success, but it’s also going with him to Washington Heights, going to a nightclub and watching him dance the salsa with young people who are just starting out their lives in this great city in this blessed country. He knew what they were hoping for. He gave up his heart and his soul to make sure that his example would live on. What a fitting person to be chosen by our Postal Service, mentioned, by the way, in the Constitution, something we should all read and re-read in today’s times, and it’s choice of this immigrant, who did so much for our country, his country, truly is what it means when we say, ‘USA forever.’ Who we are, what we stand for. And let there be many, many more immigrants with the love of America that Oscar de la Renta exemplified every single day.”
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was also on hand, along with Vogue's Anna Wintour and Anderson Cooper (he emceed), said he hoped the stamps "remind people the extraordinary contributions immigrants make to our city and to our country every single day."