History of Balenciaga?Balenciaga SA is a luxury fashion house founded in 1919 by the Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga in San Sebastian, Spain. Balenciaga produces ready-to-wear, footwear, handbags, and accessories and licenses its name and branding to Coty for fragrances. The brand is currently owned by the French corporation Kering.
Who Created Balenciaga?
Spanish brand Balenciaga was established in the Basque Country in Spain before relocating to France and opening a boutique store in Paris in 1937 as a result of the Spanish Civil War.
Balenciaga used sleek and linear lines in the post-war era that deviated from Christian Dior’s hourglass shape popularized at the time.
He revolutionized women’s fashion in the 1950s, and by the 1960s had developed trademark styles such as the collar deviating from the collar bone, and the “bracelet sleeves.”
Balenciaga was acquired by multinational French company Kering in 2001 – who own Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Alexander McQueen among others – and was pegged as the company’s fastest growing brand in 2018.
What Started Balenciaga's Success?
Balenciaga is most known for revolutionizing women’s fashion with never-before-seen shapes in the mid-20th century, such as the “ballroom hems” of the early 1950s, the “semi-fit” lines of the mid-50s and the introduction of the “sack dress” in 1957.
Current Creative Director Demna Gvasalia has worked closely with the Balenciaga House archives to look at the original designs of Cristóbal Balenciaga to maintain artistic integrity in cut, shape and material.
Gvasalia and his predecessor Nicolas Ghesquière are widely credited for reviving the label from 1997 to the present.
What Makes Balenciaga Special?
With the advent of new forms of footwear, particularly the sock sneaker, Balenciaga released the Speed Sock that attracted much attention amongst influencers and fashionistas alike.
Demna’s creative direction has led the brand to all-star status attracting the likes of Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and Kim Kardashion to the fashion house. Demna’s ironic, polarizing and ironic designs even played a major role in Kanye’s Donda performance and stint at GAP.
Balenciaga describes the sneakers as elevating the sock-like construction of performance athletic footwear alongside an oversized articulated sole to establish a sporty and “forward-looking” profile.
In terms of material, the Speed Sock is made of a 10-millimeter arch and composed of 80% Polyamide material (a stretch-knit upper) and 20% Elasthanne (a white rubber sole), and costs between $500-700.
Who Designs Balenciaga?
Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia is the current designer of Balenciaga (alongside Vetements), stating that his approach to the brand is to deconstruct something in order to create something else – “destruct to create.” He cites his work pattern to be influenced by sportswear aesthetics, particularly focusing on the modernity of comfort, functionality and technicality to create an aesthetically pleasing image.
How Much Does Balenciaga Cost?
Of course, pricing depends on what sort of item you are looking for, but the ready to wear collection boasts a large range of items available from $90 for Balenciaga trademark socks, to $4,152 for a Balenciaga Painted Biker Jacket, making it safe to say that Balenciaga is definitely a luxury brand.
Balenciaga owns about 180 stores globally, including Paris and New York, with over 1900 staff in only two of its locations. Its products are expensive and full of quality. As a luxury brand known for quality, it sources the best raw materials, giving durability to its finished product. That said, there have been questions about their service and treatment of customers after they have purchased items from them. Likewise, they have been associated with many negative conspiracies none of which have been proven to date.