Who is Oscar De las salas?

Photography; Chris Loomis

For almost three decades, Oscar De las salas has designed and directed projects in the world of design as a respected architect and Interior designer and has been recognized for his many contributions. His insatiable conquest to an elevated world of style, makes him blend his career and his creativity with the of fashion, one that he was part of during his younger days as a catalog model. He also ventured into fashion production and has been commanded by his peers to learn his talents as a style critic, writer and creative director with excellent projects and reviews. 

A native of Barranquilla, Colombia, South America, Oscar started his studies to follow his passion for design at the Universidad Piloto de Colombia in Bogota, where he graduated as an architect. He then relocated to Europe and received his Masters of Interior Architecture & Design at the renowned University of Salamanca (Universidad de Salamanca) in Spain, one of the oldest universities in the world. Before landing in the Valley of the Sun, he worked in several countries as a consultant for interior architecture for the United States Federal Building Office and served as project manager for all interior finish details for the United States Embassies in Bogota (Col.), Lima (Peru), Singapore (Singapore), and Guantanamo (Cuba). While in Europe, Oscar also worked as a fashion model and editorial stage set designer and has been called a ‘fashionista’ before the term became part of our daily lingo.

After arriving in the U.S., Oscar returned to his passion for design, and served as principal with the modern architecture firm, Architectural Alliance Inc., leading numerous municipal projects in Arizona – including the award-winning Peoria – Fire Station 196.

In 2012, Oscar used this diverse background to launch an online journal with his experiences in design called WhatWouldOscarDo.com, sharing a blend of architectural vision and style insight. Oscar’s own recognizable style and creativity has been showcased in a number of publications, including Phoenix Magazine, JAVA Magazine, Arizona Republic, So Scottsdale Magazine, Best of Phoenix: City Lifestyle,  Modern Luxury Scottsdale Magazine, Arizona Latina Magazine, Paradise Valley Magazine, The Entertainer!, Arizona Foothills Magazine, Where traveler, Latino Leaders Magazine, Arizona Latinos, Voyage Magazine, SHOUTOUT Arizona, Life In Paradise Magazine TRENDS Magazine, FRONTDOORS Magazine and Prensa Hispana.  He is also part of “The Committee” of the exclusive MENSBOOK group by Modern Luxury Media.

His passion for design, architecture, and his early work in the fashion industry at a young age as a catalogue model, to later in life using his talents as a set designer and stylist, and even as a fashion designer to models, national and international beauty pageants contestants, celebrities, fashion models and socialites when needed. Such experiences have expanded Oscar’s community and media involvement locally, making him a familiar face when it comes to the world of design and style, including attending award red carpets and international televised events.

His charming, outspoken nature has him be part of  local, national and international fashion commentary for ABC, NBC, 3TV, Univison, SiTV, Telemundo, CNN Latino,  Regente TV as well as local Latin radio stations like La Campesina, Onda1190, and many others.

Oscar has been honored to work with a number of local organizations, notably as a host and emcee for several non-profit foundations where design, fashion, beauty, and culture are the common thread, been the emcee for Brave Wings Fashion Show, Casa Brazil, Hair Wars, Model Wars, Soy Miss Quince Pageant, Miss Arizona Latina USANoche en Blanco, Cortney’s Place Annual Holiday Fashion Show, Scottsdale Polo Championships Phoenix Fashion Week, Tucson Fashion Week, Tempe Fashion Week, FashFilmFete, amongst others.

A board member of WTSMTV.com, Vice-Chair at Urban Land Institute Arizona Chapter, DEI Committee, and Vice-chair at  Friends of Phoenix Public Art, Phoenix Art Museum Circles of Support, and member of the Phoenix Art Museum Arizona Costume Institute, in addition to being part of the  Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), a museum under the conglomerate of arts of Scottsdale Arts, since 2013, where he served as the creative co-chair for the museum’s annual gala, with his vision, that enticed a number of designers from all over the world to bring their very private collections to Arizona, including a grand number of gowns and garments worn by international stars such as Britney Spears, Beyonce, Bing-Bing, Paulina Rubio, Madonna, Thalia, Lady Gaga, Tony Braxton, Katie Perry, Nicky Minaj, amongst many, many others. With more than 200 fashion models, and the largest Fashion Catwalk and red carpet ever seen in the state, his vision was realized with the nationally acclaimed event SMoCA Mix – Fashionably AvantGarde, to later be the chairman of Starry Night gala and through the dark days of C-19 Co-Chaired a virtual gala by the name of  Art | A love Story, next year,  he Co-Chaired for Scottsdale Arts, the annual gala ,LUMINESCENCE, an evening of radiant living art experiences and fantastical fashion creations, surrounded by Avant-Garde and Noveau circus and artistic experiences.

Oscar was recognized for his contribution to the community by the Arizona Department of Education,  Career, and Technical Education in 2016 for his contributions to Education in the State of Arizona, as well as Arizona House of Representatives in 2019, and during the Hispanic Heritage month in 2022, the Arizona State Legislature presented him with a recognition for his extraordinary contributions to the state of Arizona.

His birthday on June 29, his birthday, was declared “Oscar Day” by City of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.

His community work continues with other efforts to help build the works of arts in our community, he has been the emcee and host for 8 consecutive years to the annual NOCHE EN BLANCO event, one that gathers more than 1,200 guests all dressed in white garments at Hance Park at the beginning of fall to raise funds for the part conservancy and to bring awareness of the importance of public spaces and public art. to help the world of art, being his latest the chair of the 10th annual ART D’CORE Gala to benefit ARTLink’s and with his husband Gary Jackson, chaired the Annual Shemer Honors Gala to celebrate the artistic life of local artist Mayme Kratz.

He was invited this year by the Maricopa Community Colleges, Phoenix College President, Kimberly Britt  and faculty to the be key note speaker to this year’s 1,500 students graduates in many fields a the Veterans Coliseum in Phoenix, with a message of “Resilience, Determination and Optimism”, one that keeps him moving forward in life.

This year, 2023, Oscar will Co-chair the Arizona Costume Institute’s annual Holiday Luncheon with his friend and pal from many other philanthropic efforts Beth McRae, owner of the McRae PR Agency and owner of the upscale fashion resale boutique High Society in Scottsdale, and it is expected to be, the place to be and the event to attend this year!

Oscar is an associate faculty professor at the Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, as part of the Architecture and Interior Design faculty. He is a talent for FORD/RBA, a founding member of WTSMTV Board of Directors, a global ambassador for PROCOLOMBIA, and a commissioner part of the Board Directors at Phoenix Sisters Cities and can be found in all social media platforms under #OscarDelassalas #WhatWouldOscarDo #OscarTalks.

Oscar is currently part of the Gensler Phoenix office, and advances Business Development and Client Relationships for the Southwest Region, California, and Latin American markets.

He resides in Phoenix, with his husband, Gary.

Photography: Vincent Keith
Photography: Michael Luna
Photography: Hassan Rasul | Blok Studio
Oscar in Life in Paradise Magazine 2021 | Photography by David Lee

Photography by Chris Loomis
Oscar in WHERE Magazine – Photography by Phyllis Lane

Photography by Phillys Lane

3 replies to “Who is Oscar De las salas?

    1. Jennifer –
      Thank you very much for your kind words.
      This is a window to the many curiosities that move me as a communicator, some how a teacher and a producer.
      More to come, more to come….
      Stay tuned to new posts and new articles.
      Always in Style!

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