Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour payed tribute to her late friend Oscar de la Renta in a short essay published on the magazine's website Tuesday.
"There is much being said that his passing yesterday marks the end of an era. Not true," Wintour wrote on Vogue.com. "He was the most democratic man I knew and he would have lived happily and defined any era."
De la Renta died in his Kent, Conn., home on Monday after a long battle with Cancer. He was 82.
In her essay, Wintour reminisced about the last time she saw the Dominican designer and praised his "extraordinary personality: optimistic, fun, sunny, romantic," which she saw ever-present in his designs.
"At dinner this summer....he told me he felt he had had the most amazing life and he was not afraid. This strength must have been with him in the hospital last week when he made the decision to turn off treatment; it was not the quality of life he wanted," Wintour shared.
She goes on to detail de la Renta's positive attitude towards life and how "he never complained" about his disease. Wintour calls him "everything you would want in a friend" and said his generosity made him a "tireless philanthropist" who "would ask the concierge to dinner rather than dine alone" and was always "happy to include ten more people for dinner."
At the conclusion, Wintour praises de la Renta's wife, Annette de la Renta, and calls her "his perfect partner."
"She slept on a cot in the hospital every night he was there. Theirs was the greatest, most life-enhancing love affair. Last week in the hospital he said that she never wears the beautiful jewelry he gave her, and she said simply, "I have you."
The 64-year-old fashion mogul says the last words she heard from de la Renta were "I Love You."
"And I said I love you back," she wrote.