Cristobal Balenciaga (1896-1972) started in the fashion business as a tailor in Spain. In 1917, he established Eisa Fashion House, named for his mother. He left Spain due to the Spanish Civil War, and went to Paris. There he opened his couture house in 1937. The business was closed from 1940 until 1945, but reopened after the war. Balenciaga retired in 1968, and died four years later.
Balenciaga was known for his sculptural approach to design. The cut and construction was often quite complicated, but the result was seemingly simple.
After Balenciaga’s death, the rights to the label were acquired by a German firm, who produced clothing under the label until 1986. The House of Balenciaga remained closed until 1987 when it was purchased and relaunched with a ready to wear line of clothing. The Balenciaga shops were re-opened in 1989. Jacques Bogart S.A. is the current owner of Balenciaga.
Today, Nicolas Ghesquière designs for the House of Balenciaga. For fall 2004, Ghesquière did line-for-line remakes of Balenciaga originals from the company archives. They are labeled “Balenciaga.Edition”.
“Balenciaga abides by the law that elimination is the secret of chic.” Harper’s Bazaar, 1938
See also: Eisa
Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com