French fashion house, Balenciaga was founded in 1918 by a Spanish designer named Cristóbal Balenciaga.
When Balenciaga opened up shop in 1918, he primarily catered to the royal family and the elite. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Balenciaga was forced to close his couture shops and move to Paris in 1937. It was in Paris that he re-opened his shop on Avenue Georges V.
Balenciaga's designs that were inspired by the Spanish Renaissance appealed to the French bourgeoisie and his designs saw success almost immediately. The couture became very high-in-demand. Anyone who wore Balenciaga during this time was automatically considered to be avant-garde. Customers all around the world traveled to Europe to buy Balenciaga's pieces.
After the Second World War, Balenciaga experimented with proportions; he began designing couture that focused on amplifying a woman's shoulders while eliminating her waist. This was his first step in reinventing the female silhouette. The high-waisted baby doll dress, the sack dress, the balloon jacket and most importantly the chemise dress, are among the most iconic designs from the French fashion house.
In the 50's, the most popular silhouette was the Christian Dior "nouveau look" (new look), a silhouette that was in favour of a cinched-in waistlines and full-body skirts. Balenciaga and Chanel wanted to offer their clientele a modern, yet simple look that helped women feel beautiful, without compromising comfort.
In the 60's, Balenciaga began experimenting with materials such as embroidery. Balenciaga soon became known for his architectural constructed clothes.
Cristóbal Balenciaga closed his empire in 1968 and passed away in 1972. The Fashion house was later re-launched in 1986. It wasn't until 1997 that Nicolas Ghesquière took over the position of creative director. Ghesquière brought the French House back to life and made the brand hip again. The brand is best known for its motorcycle style leather bags and jackets.
In 2012 Alexander Wang took over the position of creative director and showcased his first collection for the brand in 2013.
Originally, the iconic motorcycle bag was not supposed to see the light of the day. The bag was considered to be lacking in structure and when the company put together its first sample, it didn't quite pass the style test. Little did the French House know that the bag would become renowned precisely because of its lightweight and instructed casual look.
Nicolas Ghesquière convinced the French house to produce the bags exclusively for the runway show. Ghesquière had the models strut down the runway while carrying the famous motorcycle bags. After a comment from Kate Moss exclaiming how much she fell in love with the sample, Ghesquiere was convinced that the bag would be a commercial hit. Right after the runway show celebrities and It girls alike were seen carrying the famous studded slouchy bag in any and every color available.
The rest is history..
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