Balenciaga is home to haute couture fashion of the very best and was founded in 1918 by Cristobal Balenciaga.
It was his first haute couture house in Spain and soon more would follow. Avenue George V would become the Parisian home for the creations of Balenciaga and his flagship store is still to this today located at this address.
When it came to Parisian elegance and fashion
Balenciaga was a huge name and a great influence as was hailed as the Couturier of Couturiers. Christian Dior, another name associated with the very best
design, labeled Balenciaga the Master of all of us. In 1946 the famous fashion
house launched its first perfume and this was to become as famous as the couture pieces of the house and even rivaled Chanel.
When the founder of Balenciaga passed away in 1972 in his beloved Spain his nephews took over the running of the business. In 1978 control of the business along with the fragrance business associated with the brand name was passed to Hoechst and finally in 1986 into the hands of Jacques Bogart.
During 1995 the house hired designer Nicolas Ghesquiere to take over the licensed products and he became the creative director for the ready to wear and fashion
accessories collection of the house in 1997.
Today Balenciaga belongs to the Gucci Group which took over the company in 2001. The company is now on its way towards recreating all the influence and respect that the fashion
house had back in its heyday and the designs of womens and mens ready to wear clothing, shoes and accessories are sold all over the world. Cristobal Balenciaga once said that a great couturier must be an architect when it comes to design, a sculptor when it comes to shaping, a painter for colors, a musician to ensure harmony and a philosopher for temperance. These are what make the difference between a good fashion
house and one of the very best
houses of haute couture.
Balenciaga stores are as well known as the fashion
they sell within their walls. The store concept was designed by Nicolas Ghesquiere along with the French artist Dominique Ghesquiere. The stores feature a mix of natural, artificial and raw materials with light that changes in an artificial sky to give the impression of changing times and seasons. It could e anything from a summers day to a stormy winter indoors, this was a concept designed by Benoit Lalloz. Stores are set out in white modular fittings so as not to distract from the fashion
with lacquered poles being featured throughout the store. Each of the stores has its own unique concept adapted to the space and the environment.