Word started circulating during New York Fashion Week last month that de la Renta, 78, is ill and may have to give up the reins to his company. He was recovering from hip replacement surgery and well enough to walk out and wave at the end of of his show, but Page Six quotes an insider saying that since then, "Oscar is in the office taking meetings, but is weaker and takes naps to rest. There's speculation that staff and designers have recently been hired to prepare for a possible future with Oscar taking a lesser role." A de la Renta spokesman fires back: "Oscar happily is enjoying excellent health. He's putting in a full work day every day. Any new hires have nothing to do with the design process, and there is no plan whatsoever to even think of replacing him as the creative head."
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