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Oscar de la Renta’s Green Thumb Comes Through in Book

The designer is tapping into his love of gardening to promote his latest book, “The Style, Inspiration and Life of Oscar de la Renta.”

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Oscar de la Renta is tapping into his love of gardening — and those who have been taken by pictures of his luxurious homes on Pinterest — to promote his latest book, “The Style, Inspiration and Life of Oscar de la Renta.”

The oversize red-canvas-bound book, featuring an image from de la Renta’s time at Balmain on the cover, will be available for preorder Friday on oscardelarenta.com and will ship in March. The book highlights archive images, the designer’s personal photos, fashion editorials, and pictures of his friends and muses as well as his homes and gardens. There are quotes about de la Renta from Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Oprah Winfrey and Taylor Swift, and a forward penned by Anna Wintour.

“In a sense, it doesn’t get more old-fashioned than a coffee-table book, so how do we use new-fashioned things to let the world know we’re doing this?” Oscar de la Renta chief executive officer Alex Bolen told WWD. The project began as an update to de la Renta’s book with Assouline, which was published in 2002 under the same title. Along the way, the book became a substantially new work, with fresh images, chapter structure and text.

Because the book is heavily rooted in lifestyle elements, the brand decided to turn to the social medium with a cult following in these areas, Bolen explained.

“I have experimented with Pinterest, and as I started to figure it out, Oscar stuff popped into my feed all the time,” Bolen said. “We’ve come to understand that on Pinterest, Oscar exists in a lot of ways — but in particular, the garden world.”

Additionally, Bolen stumbled upon two homemade books that de la Renta made last year using MyPublisher and gave to family and close friends. The books contained about 100 images by de la Renta showing the designer’s homes, gardens and outdoor spaces in Kent, Conn., and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic — some of these were also used in the forthcoming book. Today, a Pinterest board will go live on the brand’s page at Pinterest.com/oscarprgirl featuring these never-before-released images.

The effort will both let people know that a new book is coming out, with each image linking to the preorder page, and create reasons for customers to engage with the brand.

Bolen calls initiatives like this “experiments,” and the last experiment came when the brand released its fall ad campaign on Instagram in August.

“We learned that we need to have a more robust mobile site,” Bolen said of the Instagram ad test. “We couldn’t handle the inbound traffic. It didn’t literally crash, but it was so many people [coming to the site from a mobile device]. While it was successful in many ways, I don’t think we capitalized on the commerce opportunity that we could have if we had been better prepared for our success.”

The brand plans to launch an updated mobile experience later this year.

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