The history of Balenciaga bags

Balenciaga bags

Balenciaga is a fashion house that was started by Cristobal Balenciaga in San Sebastian in 1919, in Madrid and Barcelona in 1932 and then in Paris in 1937. This self-taught Spanish Basque always believed in haute couture as a form of architecture for clothing that should be simple and refined to achieve perfection.

He ignored fashion trends and conducted his own technical and formal research and in 1959 the press proclaimed him to be ‘King of Parisian fashion’.

The genius of his sculptural approach and his mastery of materials. He is still renowned for the deep black of his first collections which make any other black seem faded in comparison. His classic style – a style designed to reveal each woman to herself – held sway until 1968 when Cristobal Balenciaga decided to retire, close his workshops and to discontinue his licences for scarves and accessories.

Balenciaga died four years later and the house of Balenciaga was bought by the German group, Hoecht, and then by the Bogart perfume company.

In 1987 the ready-to-wear business was entrusted to Toulouse based designer, Michel Goma, but the Belgian designer, Josephus Melchior Thimister, became artistic director from 1992.

Nicolas Ghesquière took over the artistic direction of Balenciaga in 1997. He learned his craft at Jean-Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler and Trussardi and returned to the original ethos of the house of Balenciaga with a stark but sensuous style to which he brought the originality of his science fiction fuelled imagination.

Balenciaga has been owned by the Gucci Group since 2001, which itself became part of the French luxury group, PPR between 2001 and 2004. Later on, Isabelle Guichot became president of Balenciaga in 2007 and worked on increasing the number of stores and in-store destinations throughout the world (currently 62). This work continues even though Nicolas Ghesquière has just announced the end of his 15 year collaboration with Balenciaga.

Finally, Alexandre Wang has just been announced as Balenciaga’s new artistic director.

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