Balenciaga Balenciaga or the S. A. is a 1937 Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga in Paris based, world-renowned fashion company.

Fashion Balenciaga was especially between the 1940s and 1960s as international Inbgegriff of high-priced French haute couture and sat groundbreaking trends for the entire fashion world. After Cristóbal Balenciaga, who had gained in the fashion world with elegant haute couture fashion cult status and is revered today as a master of upscale women's fashion, died in 1972, the company changed hands several times and focused mainly to the early 1990s on their own perfume business. It was not until 1997 Balenciaga rose with a new designer, and from 2001 with a new financially strong owner by popular prêt-à- porter fashion Kolle tions for men and since 2002 also for men as well as accessories in the upper price segment back into the ranks of the leading Parisian fashion companies on. Since 2004, Balenciaga belongs S. A. to today's Kering S. A. (formerly PPR).

Company History

Cristóbal Balenciaga

The 1936 Spain emigrated to France Cristóbal Balenciaga ( 1885-1972 ) - a trained tailor who had already made in Spain from 1915 with its own boutiques in San Sebastián, Madrid and Barcelona with upscale women's fashion has a name - presented in the summer of 1937 in Paris his first haute couture collection, named after his last name company was the SARL and opened in August 1938 in the elegant No. 10, Avenue George V in Paris' fashion district, a fashion salon for haute couture in the top price segment, where to this day the Balenciaga flagship store is located. 1948 Balenciaga boutique was opened on the ground floor. Balenciaga became by constant fashion innovation in a short time become a cult fashion house, whose high-priced creations have set the trend for the entire fashion industry. As early as 1938 led British and American department stores such as Harrods, Bloomingdale's or Saks Fifth Avenue Balenciaga fashion. Among the prominent Balenciaga customers at this time included, among others, Carole Lombard, Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich and Ginger Rogers. After the Spanish Civil War Cristóbal Balenciaga opened, of its Spanish boutiques all had closed again shops in Madrid.

In 1947 the first Balenciaga perfume for Women, Le Dix (named after the house number 10) on the market. Other fragrances followed. Cristóbal Balenciaga himself appeared in the 1950s in advertisements for the scents of his house. 1955 SARL was in a S. A. converted and Balenciaga offered from this time first of jewelry. Starting in 1956, the house Balenciaga presented his creations the charged private clients and buyers a month before the parades for the press to make the job imitators of Balenciaga designs. Through a personal friendship with the young fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, it always came back to collaborations between the houses Balenciaga and Givenchy. Among other things, the two companies presented their creations in New York City. The so-called "shirt" - or sack dress (French robe chemise ) of 1956 goes back to the two designers. Other well-known designers such as Emanuel Ungaro, André Courrèges or Oscar de la Renta worked over the years as an assistant at Balenciaga.

Balenciaga joined in his sometimes architecturally detailed designs Parisian chic with Spanish pride and presented, among other models, which were decorated with flamenco ruffles and ribbons, elegant Bolero Jacket (1946 ) or the by Velázquez Painting the Infanta Margarita in blue from 1659 Infanta - influenced evening gowns in the pompous style ( 1939). Modern concepts included knee length boots with short, straight cut dresses ( the so-called "I" line), inspired by kimono sleeves (1946 ), Page caps ( has pillbox, 1951), the tunic dress (1955), oversized proportions (1957 ), the baby doll silhouette (1958), balloon-like dresses and coats (1960 ) or ensembles with different front and rear view.

In the late 1950s, sales of the house was estimated at that time fabled 1.5 million U.S. dollars, and Cristóbal Balenciaga was considered a top earner among the Parisian couturiers. The Balenciaga brand had such success with clients such as Grace Kelly or Queen Fabiola of Belgium at the latest in the 1950s and Cristóbal Balenciaga's strengthened position as a top designer that he could take it out to never join the influential Paris Fashion Association Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne. Since only the association determined through the use of the protected in France the term "haute couture" and only its members are entitled to refer to their creations as Haute Couture, Balenciaga fashion was, at least officially, never Haute Couture. The present house Balenciaga is a member of prêt -à -porter fashion division of the Association. In 1958, the Balenciaga perfumes S. A. as a subsidiary of Balenciaga S. A. established for the growing perfume division of the house. In 1961 Hosiery added to Balenciaga 's portfolio that have been printed later with special patterns. 1962 became the first men's fragrance, Eau de Balenciaga launched. In 1968 the flying personnel of Air France was equipped with Balenciaga uniforms.

1968 ended Cristóbal Balenciaga, to the surprise of the entire fashion world at the age of 77 years, its activities and closed its boutiques. With the then increasingly emerging prêt-à- porter fashion and the beginning of the decline of haute couture, he found it hard. Only the Balenciaga perfume business was continued.

Succession with perfume shop

After Cristóbal Balenciaga's death, the perfume Balenciaga SA was in the Balenciaga S. A. integrated. Cristóbal Balenciaga had his company bequeathed his nieces and nephews, who sold it in 1978 to the German pharmaceutical company Hoechst. Hoechst built in the following years from the perfume business from Balenciaga.

In 1986, the French fashion and cosmetics company Jacques Bogart SA Balenciaga by Hoechst. In 1987, the fashion division of Balenciaga was restarted with prêt-à -porter under the guidance of the designer Michel Goma. During this time there was the Le Dix luxury collection and the diffusion - diffusion line for women. For large customers such as airlines, banks, hotels or the French Post Office, all of which are equipped with Balenciaga uniforms, in the same year a separate department, Uniform Balenciaga, set up in the company. In the U.S. and Japan has been licensed for the brand name Balenciaga. In Tokyo, a Balenciaga boutique opened. Since 1992 the Belgian designer Josephus Melchior Thimister the Balenciaga - designed collections (* 1962). Thimister ended its activity in 1997 with the accusation that Jacques Bogart SA, Balenciaga " not professional to market ."

Neugbeginn from 1997

Since 1997, the French designer Nicolas Ghesquière worked as chief designer at Balenciaga. Ghesquière was 1990-1992 Assistant to the French fashion designer Jean -Paul Gaultier and was hired in 1995 by the Japanese licensee of Balenciaga for the design of " funeral wardrobe and uniforms ." In 1997, the leadership of Jacques Bogart, who had initially wanted the Austrian Helmut Lang as creative director for Balenciaga, him as chief designer in Paris. Ghesquière presented in the following seasons sometimes futuristic and always expressive Balenciaga fashion for self-confident women, it was highly praised by experts and chosen by the press to the " Messiah of fashion ". How Cristóbal Balenciaga also experimented with some unusual Ghesquière fabric materials and drew his inspiration from the designs of the company founder. Under Ghesquière were Balenciaga fashion shows, to which only a limited number were admitted to viewers to coveted events. Ghesquière 2000 introduced the Balenciaga handbags First and City as well as the 2001 model a Lariat, all of which developed into it-bags, had for the part due to the high demand, waiting lists are established. 2002 was first introduced in men's fashion from Balenciaga under Ghesquière. Since Ghesquière " the dusty fashion house back on the world stage " had brought, Balenciaga nowadays is especially true with the younger target group again as a desirable fashion brand in both the hochpreisgen Ladies and Men's Fashion. With bestsellers such as Balenciaga cargo pants, gold-colored leggings (2006) or multicolored Sportiletto - Pumps ( 2008) Ghesquière also strengthened its status as a worthy successor to Cristóbal Balenciaga.

Belongs under the direction of CEO François -Henri Pinault, the Balenciaga brand to 91 % (the remaining 9 :; 2001, the Italian Gucci Group, which has since been to the French luxury goods group Pinault -Printemps -Redoute ( Kering Since 2013 PPR) had % went to Nicolas Ghesquière ) taken. Under the leadership of PPR increased the turnover and the profit of Balenciaga in the following years. In 2000, the Balenciaga sales had only amounted to the equivalent of 17.3 million U.S. dollars with a profit of 1.07 million U.S. dollars. PPR published for its brands, no individual data.

2003 opened a Balenciaga boutique in New York City their doors and the company introduced a Croisière holiday collection for women with a summer fashion in winter. 2004 debuted the Balenciaga Edition collection by creating new models from the Balenciaga archives from 1937 to 1968 of 2005 Location Hong Kong was added to the network of Balenciaga shops. ; 2007 Milan; London and Los Angeles, 2008; a men's boutique in Paris in 2010. beginning of 2012 there were 54 Balenciaga boutiques worldwide, 12 of which were opened in the year 2011 alone. A collection of sunglasses have been around since 2007. 2008, the company opened on your own website an online store, bought back the Japanese license, forgave their perfume license to Coty, Inc.. With the reallocation of perfume license all were until then by Bogart sold Balenciaga fragrances set. 2010, the first women's fragrance Balenciaga Paris was launched by Coty, more followed. Since then, Balenciaga offers exclusively for ladies perfume.

Ghesquière, who had been retained by Pinault in 2001 as Balenciaga designer and the Pinault an " incomparable creative talent " certified, Balenciaga left in December 2012. Succeeding the American designer Alexander Wang ( b. 1983 ) appointed by PPR, since the 2007 performs his fashion brand named after him.


In addition to the Balenciaga Paris flagship store opened in 1951 in the 12, Rue George V, the upscale variety theater Crazy Horse, which is located there today.

Pictures of Balenciaga