Colombian-born style influencer talks fashion faves and style don’ts!
When I hear the phrase ‘style influencer’ one of the names that comes to mind is Oscar De Las Salas. Creative director, fashion critic, and brand ambassador are just a few of the roles that has cemented the Colombia-born creative as a fashion authority. Born in Barranquilla—where actress Sofia Vergara and Shakira are from—Oscar is now based in Scottsdale, Arizona and the editor of his own website “What Would Oscar Do?,” where he shares his sartorial musings in what he describes as “A Series of Answers to the World of Style.” I recently caught up with the fashionisto to get intel on his fashion favorites and how a degree in Architecture inspires his style.
How did you become so passionate about style? Fashion and style is a trade in my family and a series of coincidences. My dad worked as a young man at a tailor’s store. My mother always had an eye and vision for fashion, and always had a Hermès scarf tucked away in her purse for a quick change of style.
What’s the premise of “What Would Oscar Do?” At first, my blog was a platform to exchange tips and advice with readers, as well as highlighting my vision of trends and classics around fashion. It still keeps that line of thought somehow, but it has grown to be not scholarly as I first intended. The concept was to share my insight and suggestions about the world of fashion, as well as highlight the style and beauty of those close to me that use fashion as an expression, and as a seal of personal style.
Favorite In Fashion.
My Hermès calfskin and leather sole loafers with the iconic silver “H” hardware fitting. They are a staple in my closet.
I like the functionality of these loafers—the ability to wear them with a pair of slacks, add a jacket for a meeting, or dress them down with a pair of denim pants or khakis, and a plain t-shirt. I also love them with my best look for summer—a pair of linen or cotton shorts. I have worn these types of moccasin shoes since I was a kid in high school and they are still part of my core favorites.
My favorite fashion items all have a particular style—minimalistic design with strong geometry as part of the overall shape makes them comfortable, yet smart. My modern architecture background drives that attraction to the minimal and classic.
Favorite In Grooming.
Growing up in a warm climate, cologne is a must during summer.
I learned from my great-grandfather, a proud artist described by my mother as a “dandy.” He taught me the importance of almost “showering” in it, as warm days approach. His staple cologne was Acqua di Parma, as it was for my grandfather and my father. I continue the tradition of this classic scent, and it not only reminds me of family, but of the fresh aroma of the Mediterranean spring trips.
You also style clients. If you could style anyone past or present, who would it be and for what event? Princess Grace of Monaco, for her inaugural dinner; Lady Diana for her state dinner in the White House; Giovanna Battaglia for her wedding reception and her wedding day; or Diana Ross for her concert in Central Park in New York City. I would have loved to be part of the creative team of Elton John back in the days of psychedelic influence, and be part of the Halston golden days in New York City; where fashion, architecture, interiors art, music and sophistication melded into a lifestyle of the time.
Share one trend you believe is chic. Scarves, leather boots, skinny black pants—leather preferred—oversized sunglasses, with pointy stilettos during the day, and/or paired with a man’s shirt anytime for women. For a man, a pocket square for men in any color and any graphic pattern, always a jacket with the weight of the season, and a good pair of driving mocks, or calfskin leather shoes.
Share one trend that you believe is a shock. That thing called ‘denim-all,’ where denim is being worn from head to toe. A true vomit, and it is a trend! Perhaps it is just a fever and they are having issues. Look for pictures of Kanye West at the Met Gala. Who wears that for a gala? Enough with the “shock factor,” I am not impressed by shock value, I want to see style.
Favorite In Food.
I am not a foodie, or a connoisseur of tastes and exotic palettes, but I can venture into new taste every now and then for sure.
The many years of being an athlete makes diet a part of my discipline and can often limit me from the pleasure of eating too many extraordinary flavors. The last eight years, I’ve decided to increase body mass and reactivate my heart rate to get ready for the golden years, so the quality of my diet is important to me. But with that said, I can be lured into temptation by dark chocolate and caramel. And that pairing is best enjoyed at Sprinkles with their coconut cupcake with vanilla flavored cake or their salted caramel cupcake. But when I have the occasional anti-diet sweet tooth emergency, Micheline Etkin’s fabulous sweet tables full of Brazilian Brigadeiros (caramel and cholocate finger sized mini-balls) are a bit of heaven. I need to call Micheline right now!
Favorite Cocktail. Hendricks gin martini—very dry, shaken well and clear as water, with blue cheese stuffed olives floating on the rim. Very James Bond.
Favorite In Entertainment.
When it comes to entertainment, I prefer the standards and directness of public radio.
Whether it be channels with a combination of news, intellectual talks and interviews, the uncommon classical music, the live jazz concerts – they are always found streaming on what my husband calls my transistor radio—my smart phone, which I carry everywhere. I tend to listen to RAI, RTF, NPR, BBC, RTVE, and RCN (links below). I feel like I have gone home again to South American with Radio Caracol from Colombia.
I am currently reading, “Design the Life You Love” by fellow designer and design advocate Ayse Birsel. I received the book as a welcome present from the team during the last GE Monogram Designer Summit, and I think it is a must-read for anyone within the world of creativity. Also, a good magazine like “Departures” or “T Magazine,” with flat white or a glass of guava juice by Goya. It’s the best way to spend an afternoon.
Favorite Vacation Spot. A place where I quiet my mind and ease my soul—my beloved Caribbean.
What would we be shocked to know about you? I get really upset when I cannot remember people’s names.
Share 3 chic things Oscar likes to do.
- Spa day at the unusual and non-trendy spa.
- Read a local magazine at a new city, in a stylish hotel lobby, having a drink while people watching.
- Visit museums when visiting other cities, but I must have coffee at their café or restaurant.
Image source: Oscar De Las Salas/Jim Hesterman Photography