BALENCIAGA was founded by the Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga Eizaguirre in 1937 and today has its headquarters in Paris. The trained tailor and son of a Basque fisherman initially made a name for himself with his own boutiques in Spain.
Until his complete withdrawal from fashion after the 1968 May riots in Paris, he was one of the most popular and prestigious designers, and one of the few couturiers enjoying the benevolence of his competitors and colleagues. Even design icon Coco Chanel, notorious for her often sharp-tongued comments called Balenciaga the "only true couturier".
After his death in 1972, the owner of the House BALENCIAGA changed several times. Until the beginning of the nineties, the brand focused more on their own perfume division.
With Josephus Thimister as the new creative director the label once again joined the circle of well-known prêt-à-porter houses in 1992. Five years later Nicolas Ghesquière became his successor and eventually led the name BALENCIAGA back to its former glory. In addition to the existing line of accessories, the house expanded its portfolio with a men's collection in 2002.
This was followed by the acquirement of New York born Alexander Wang as Head of Design, after Nicolas Ghesquières had to pass on, not entirely smoothly, the creative direction of the house.
Recently Alexander Wang left the house, and his successor, Georgian native Demna Gvasalia, was announced in October 2015. The co-founder and creative director of Vetements, will lead the House BALENCIAGA in the forthcoming season.