Balenciaga is a luxury fashion house founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga 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, 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. It was not until the post-war years that the full scale the fluidity of his silhouettes enabled him to manipulate the relationship between his clothing and women’s bodies.

Founded: 1919
Industries: Fashion
HQ: Paris, France