Hailed as ‘The Couturier of Couturiers’ by Christian Dior, Balenciaga founder Cristobal Balenciaga was born in Guetaria, San Sebastian, Spain, on January 21 1895.
He studied dressmaking and needlework before establishing his tailoring business under the sponsorship of Marquesa de Casa Torres.
He opened his first fashion house at 10 Avenue George V in Paris, selling beautifully hand made clothing to those with luxurious tastes.
In 1958 Cristobal rose to international fame after creating the Balenciaga Baby Doll dress, which transforms the female silhouette by removing attention away from the waistline. His other famous creations include the iconic cocoon coat and the balloon skirt.
Cristobal retired in to his Spanish home after 30 years of innovation within the fashion industry. He died on March 24 1972 and was buried in his native Basque region.
Tom Ford described him as "one of the masters of 20th century fashion. The house he created was one of the most influential in fashion history.” to Vogue in July 2001.
In 1978, control of the House of Balenciaga passed to Hoechst and then to Groupe Jacques Bogart in 1986.
In 1995 Nicolas Ghesquiere, who has been with the house in the licensed product division for 2 years, was named Creative Director. He became the Creative Director for Balenciaga ready-to-wear and accessories in 1997.
In partnership with Nicolas as creative director, Gucci Group acquired the House of Balenciaga in 2001.
Gucci boss Domenico de Sole told Vogue “His work displays exceptional creative talent and commercial sense and Balenciaga has become one of the outstanding fashion stories in recent years." Tom Ford , creative director of the Gucci Group and of the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent labels, said: " Cristobal Balenciaga was one of the masters of 20th-century fashion. The house he created was one of the most influential in fashion history. Under the design leadership of Nicolas Ghesquière, Balenciaga has regained this position and is poised to continue to influence fashion in the 21st Century."
Under the watchful eye of Nicolas, the legacy of Cristobal Balenciaga lives on in the form of his exquisite eyewear collection that consists of acetate and metal wire frames with ornate detailing. Previous Balenciaga collections have had a distinct Parisian feel to them and the eyewear collection does not disappoint. It is the perfect way to integrate the coveted style of Balenciaga into your everyday wardrobe, whatever your individual style.
Using fabulously sized and contemporary frame styles mixed with the Balenciaga penchant for luxurious vintage details, this feminine eyewear range has become a must have collection for the style- wise to invest in.
‘A Couturier must be: An architect for design. A sculptor for shape. A painter for colour. A musician for harmobny and a philosopher for temperance.’ – Cristobal Balenciaga.