Balenciaga is a French fashion and luxury company founded in 1917 by the Spanish Cristóbal Balenciaga. Designer for the Spanish royal family, Balenciaga moved to Paris in the late 1930s where he established himself as the "couturier des couturiers" of Parisian fashion. He ceased his activities in 1968 and died a few years later. In the late 1990s, the brand experienced a resurgence in popularity under the artistic direction of Nicolas Ghesquière, then joined the Gucci Group ( PPR ) in 2001.
Balenciaga belongs to the French luxury group Kering, its artistic direction has been provided by Demna Gvasalia since 2015.
1895-1972: Cristóbal Balenciaga
Cristóbal Balenciaga was born in 1895 in Getaria in the Spanish Basque Country. His mother, a seamstress by profession, taught him sewing. In 1908 he apprenticed with a tailor in San Sebastián. In 1917, he opened the C. Balenciaga fashion house in San Sebastián (which became Balenciaga y Compañía the following year) and built his reputation by dressing the royal family of Spain.
The Spanish civil war pushed Cristóbal Balenciaga to flee the country. He moved to Paris in 1937 where he opened his new fashion house at 10 avenue George-V , Balenciaga, and returned to popularity with his first fashion show. At the end of the war in Spain, he regained control of his two stores in Madrid and Barcelona. He launched a perfume activity with Le Dix (1947), La Fuite des Heures (1949) and Quadrille (1955).
In the 1950s and 1960s, he refined his style and revealed his most sculptural creations. Inspired by the Spanish Renaissance, his creations combine sobriety, daring colors and Hispanic curves, the opposite of the New Look by Christian Dior. The barrel line (1947), the balloon jacket (1953), the tunic dress (1955), the bag dress (1957), the Baby doll dress (1958), are among his most noted creations. In 1949, he developed the design of a new textile, cracknyl , then gazarin 1958, which enabled him to achieve high fashion exploits 5 . Media stars like Marlene Dietrich , Ginger Rogers , Grace Kelly , Elizabeth Taylor , Ava Gardner or Carole Lombard dress and show off in Balenciaga 2 , 4 .
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