What Is the History of the Balenciaga Brand?

 Curious to learn more about Balenciaga? Balenciaga is a fashion brand with a whole lot of history. Delve into the company's past with this article.

 If you are addicted to Paris' Fashion Week, you know the House of Balenciaga. The History of Balenciaga is intertwined with the evolution of women's fashion and their roles in society.

Read on to learn about the Balenciaga Brand and its rich history.

History of Balenciaga

Cristobal Balenciaga was born in 1895, his mother was a dressmaker. He credited her for encouraging his passion for fabrics. At age 11 he began his apprenticeship and then opened his first shop at age 12. He was successful in Spain until the Spanish Civil War forced him to move Paris in 1937. 


During this period, his influence expanded. In Paris, he became avant-guarde but never forgot his Spanish origins.

Many of his designs at this time included the Bolero lace. The contrasts between red and black in his first line were inspired by the Spanish Renaissance and the Spanish Bullfighters. His attention to detail attracted some of the most powerful women in European Aristocracy. 

Clash of the Titans

In the '50s and '60s the world changed and so did a women's role in it. Christian Dior embraced the change and began to use tapering shapes. Balenciaga, however, when a different direction.

The 1950's

In 1951 Balenciaga eliminated the waist in women's fashion. This action produced quite a scandal in the day. 

Throughout the 50's Balenciaga made it his mission to free the female body whereas others went a different direction.

He is best known for his Slack Dress, the Cocoon Coat and the Balloon Mini Dress.  He also used his talent to invent two new fabrics. The Gazar which is very malleable silk raffia, suitable for the creation of the volumes. In addition, he created the Cracknyl which is a plastic coated, sparkling and waterproof fabric.

The 1960's

In 1960, The House of Balenciaga was at the top of its influence. Balenciaga, himself made the wedding dress for Fabiola de Mora y Aragón when she marries King Baudouin I of Belgium.

Radical changes in social, political, and popular culture in the '60's frustrated Balenciaga's style. As the role of women changed, fashion icons launched prêt-à-porter. This concept was directly opposed to Balenciaga's haute couture.

Balenciaga stated “I will never prostitute my talent” and in 1968, at the top of his success, he retired, passing away on March 23, 1972 in Spain.

Balenciaga's Impact on Shaping Fashion

His life's work, specifically the turning point in his career, was documented in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2017. This exhibited focused on his work between the '50s and '60s. It was at this point in his career when he diverged from the designs of his contemporaries and established some of his most iconic works.  

The Current House of Balenciaga

In July of 2001, Gucci acquired the brand and is still lives on today.  In 2002, a Mens' line was launched and today you can still see a  wide range of Balenciaga shoes on the feet of the fashion elite.

The Lasting Impact of One Man's Life Work

History of Balenciaga Brand mirrors the evolution of fashion and of women role in society. Check out our shoes inspired by the House of Balenciaga to see how the brand is moving forward!
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