25 Facts About Balenciaga


Balenciaga SA is a luxury fashion house founded in 1919 by the Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga in San Sebastian, Spain.

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Balenciaga produces ready-to-wear, footwear, handbags, and accessories; and it licenses its name and branding to Coty for fragrances.

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Cristobal Balenciaga opened his first boutique in San Sebastian, Spain, in 1919, and expanded to include branches in Madrid and Barcelona.

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Balenciaga opened his Paris couture house on Avenue George V in August 1937, where his first fashion show featured designs heavily influenced by the Spanish Renaissance.

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Historians believe that Balenciaga's continued activity during the Nazi occupation of Paris was made possible by Balenciaga's connections with Adolf Hitler's close ally, General Francisco Franco.

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Balenciaga was one of only 60 companies allowed to operate during the occupation, and the ongoing supply of raw materials from Spain, which were in short supply in Paris at the time due to the war, gave Balenciaga a competitive advantage.

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However, Balenciaga testified that he refused Hitler's request to transfer his company's activities to Berlin.

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Balenciaga's lines became more linear and sleek, diverging from the hourglass shape popularized by "Christian Dior's New Look".

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Balenciaga's trademarks included "collars that stood away from the collarbone to give a swanlike appearance" and shortened "bracelet" sleeves.

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Several designers who worked for Balenciaga would go on to open their own successful couture houses, notably Oscar de la Renta, Andre Courreges, Emanuel Ungaro, but his most famous and noted protege was Hubert de Givenchy, who was the lone designer to side with Balenciaga against the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne and the press over the scheduling of his shows.

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In 1957, Balenciaga famously decided to show his collection to the fashion press the day before the clothing retail delivery date, not the standard four weeks before the retail delivery date the fashion industry followed at the time.

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Balenciaga defiantly resisted the rules, guidelines, and bourgeoisie status of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture parisienne, and, thus, was never a member.

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Balenciaga was replaced in 1992 with Dutch designer Josephus Thimister who began the restoration of Balenciaga to high-fashion status.

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In 1992, House of Balenciaga designed the French team's clothes for the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.

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Balenciaga is owned by Kering and its womenswear and menswear was headed by Nicolas Ghesquiere.

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Ghesquiere, like Balenciaga, is a self-taught designer, and apprenticed to Jean-Paul Gaultier and Agnes b The fresh interpretation of Balenciaga classics, such as the semifitted jacket and the sack dress, caught the attention of the media as well as such celebrities as Madonna and Sinead O'Connor.

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House of Balenciaga designed the dresses worn by Jennifer Connelly and Nicole Kidman to the 2006 Academy Awards, as well as the wedding gown Kidman wore when she married Keith Urban.

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Balenciaga is known for creating avant-garde, advanced structural pieces, straddling the edge of fashion and forecasting the future of women's ready-to-wear fashion.

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Vintage Balenciaga garments are popular among fashion editors, Hollywood stars, and models, and have been seen on Sienna Miller, Lara Bingle, Raquel Zimmerman, Caroline Trentini, Emmanuelle Alt, Tatiana Sorokko, Hilary Rhoda, Jennifer Garner, and Stephanie Seymour, among others.

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Balenciaga is frequently worn by actress Chloe Sevigny, who is a muse of Nicolas Ghesquiere.

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In November 2012, Balenciaga announced that it was parting with creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere, ending his 15-year tenure.

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Balenciaga claimed that Ghesquiere's comments in the magazine System had hurt the company's image.

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In July 2015, Balenciaga announced it was parting with creative director Alexander Wang after three years.

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In March 2022 during Paris Fashion Week, Balenciaga expressed support for Ukraine during the Russian-Ukrainian War.

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Balenciaga collaborated with The Simpsons to create a short film for Paris Fashion Week in 2021.

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