Cristobal Balenciaga was born in Gueteria in the Spanish Basque country in 1895 and died in Javea in March 1972.
By 1947 he had opened his fashion house at 10 avenue George V. Presentatio in Paris.
The remainder of the 40s and 50s saw his fashion designs go from strength to strength and in 1958 he was awarded the Legion of Honour.
The 60s saw him move into footwear and sportswear and he was also responsible for the fashion designs of the uniforms of Air France hostesses.
In 1967 after 30 years, he retired to Spain.
Today, the company is owned by Gucci who acquired it in 2001. It is directed by Nicolas Ghesquiere who was born in London in 1971 and presented his first ready-to-wear collection for Balenciaga in October 1997. In 2000 he received the VH1 Award and in 2001 the CFDA Best Designer Award.
Major stores have since opened in New York, Los Angeles, London and Shanghai and in 2010, Hong Kong, Kowloon and Beijing were added.
2010 saw the launch of Ghesquiere’s first perfume called ‘Balenciaga Paris’ with Charlotte Gainsbourg as the muse.