Cristobal Balenciaga founded the house of the same name in 1917, when he was just 22.
The Civil War, raging in his native country, forced him to emigrate. Ihe emigrated first to London, then to Paris, where his creations soon became unavoidable.
He created the Tonneau line in 1947, and launched the semi-fitted suit in the 50s, a period during which he played with cuts and experimented with volumes. The style was refined, sometimes austere, but always reflected the great technical mastery of the man Christian Dior called "the master of us all", while Hubert de Givenchy called him "the architect of haute couture". His reputation preceded him until his death in 1973, after which the House of Balenciaga went through a period of decline.
Josephus Thimister became artistic director in 1991 and modernized the image, before being replaced by Nicolas Ghesquière in 1997. With its more modern lines, thehe Frenchman brings a futuristic touch and restored the house to its former glory. Alexander Wang replaced him in 2012, returning to the basics before being replaced, in October 2015, by Demna Gvasalia.
The young Georgian designer, a graduate of the Beaux Arts d'Anvers and former Maison Margiela employee, brings a certain sense of irony and a touch of irreverence, characteristic of the spirit of the Vêtements collective of which he is the figurehead, while paying homage to the house's history.