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Balenciaga is a French fashion house founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga, a Spanish designer in 1914. The house is well known for creating avant-garde structural pieces, straddling the edge of fashion and forecasting the future of women's ready-to-wear fashion. 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, and Hubert de Givenchy. Cristóbal had a reputation as a couturier of uncompromising standards and was referred to as "the master of us all" by Christian Dior. His bubble skirts and odd, feminine, yet ultra-modern shapes were trademarks of the house. After serving as the Spanish royal courtier he proceeded opened his Paris couture house on Avenue George V in August 1937, and his first runway show featured designs heavily influenced by the Spanish Renaissance. Balenciaga's success in Paris was nearly immediate: within two years, the French press lauded him as a revolutionary, and his designs were highly sought-after. It was not until the post-war years that the full scale of the inventiveness of Balenciaga became evident: the fluidity of his silhouettes enabled him to manipulate the relationship between his clothing and women's bodies. His manipulation of the waist contributed to what is considered to be his most important contribution to the world of fashion-- a new silhouette for women.

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Alexander Wang serves as creative director


Nicolas Ghesquière serves as head of the house


Jacques Bogart SA acquires Balenciaga


Founder Cristóbal Balenciaga passes away


Releases last collection and closes maison in Paris


Established in Paris


Founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga
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