Balenciaga was born in the small fishing village of Guetaria in the Basque region of Spain on January 21, 1895. From his early years, he spent many hours by his mother’s side as she worked as a seamstress. In his teens, the most prominent woman of his town, the Marquesa de Casa Torres, became his patron and client, sending him to Madrid for formal training in tailoring and proudly wearing the results. Balenciaga found early success in his native country. He opened branches of his boutique Eisa in Madrid, Barcelona, and the fashionable seaside resort of San Sebastián. His designs were favored by the Spanish royal family and fashionable members of the aristocracy. When the Spanish Civil War forced the closure of his boutiques, Balenciaga moved his operation to Paris, the acknowledged fashion capital of the world. There the talented designer joined the ranks of Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Mainbocher, among other established couturiers.
Balenciaga did nothing less than redefine the female silhouette. Throughout the mid-century years, he introduced forms that at first looked awkward or simply unattractive, but, as the eye adjusted, became the latest word in chic: the sack, the baby doll, the balloon skirt, the bracelet sleeve (a 7/8 length that hit just shy of the wrist).
Throughout the 1960s, Balenciaga continued showing collections of unparalleled technique and beauty. His innovative use of fabric—he liked bold materials, heavy cloths, and ornate embroideries—led him to work with the Swiss fabric house of Abraham. Together they developed silk gazar, a stiffer version of the pliable fabric that Balenciaga used in suits, day dresses, and evening wear.
Nicolas Ghesquiere is the creative director for the house of Balenciaga.
Among others, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Connelly, Chloë Sevigny, Sienna Miller, Lara Bingle, Raquel Zimmerman, Caroline Trentini, Emmanuelle Alt, Tatiana Sorokko, Hilary Rhoda, Jennifer Garner, Kim Kardashian and Stephanie Seymour are the clients of the Balenciaga.
Balenciaga is not the most affordable brand because of its high quality and notable name value. For example, for the famous motorcycle bag of Balenciaga, price range of smallest comfortable size is the First ($995 USD) and it goes up to the Weekender as the largest size ($1495 USD).
Despite the high price, the unique selling points that Maison Balenciaga have is of course its heritage, its history, and its most refined designs and all these impeccble finishings in the garment, which was what Balenciaga was famous and known for.
Looking at the last seasons, Balenciaga always maintained the classical beauty and refined simplicity. It’s the office look that Ghesquiere came up for the last season but we can obviously see that in these office looking garments, that the creative director played with the design.
* for more information on Balenciaga’s previous collections go to: