Balenciaga is a popular luxury brand and high-end fashion house that was established in 1919 by a Spanish designer named Cristóbal Balenciaga in San Sebastian, Spain. The brand is well-known for its luxury shoes, clothing, and handbags.
Multinational French company Kering acquired the brand in the year 2001 – also owns Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, and Gucci, among others. The brand was pegged as the company’s fastest-growing fashion house in 2018.
In this article, you will discover facts about the fashion brand (Balenciaga), what the brand is famous for, the brand’s target market, reasons why the brand is so famous, and how Balenciaga became a famous brand.
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History of Balenciaga
Cristóbal Balenciaga was born in 1895 in a small fishing village in the Basque region of northern Spain, Getaria. He was introduced to fashion by his mother (a seamstress). Her clients included the most glamorous and fashionable women in the village.
Cristóbal Balenciaga, who was just twelve, began an apprenticeship at a tailor’s in the neighboring fashionable resort of San Sebastian. In 1917, Cristóbal Balenciaga established his first fashion house (Eisa), which was a shortening of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s mother’s maiden name.
Cristóbal Balenciaga opened fashion houses in Madrid and Barcelona before moving to Paris in the year 1937. The house on Avenue Georges V became the city’s most exclusive and expensive couturier.
Cristóbal Balenciaga’s early training set him apart from other couturiers of the time. He knew his craft well and was adept at every stage of the making process, from assembling and finishing, pattern drafting to cutting a garment. For Balenciaga, the design process started with the fabric and not a sketch, “it’s the fabric that decides,” Balenciaga stated, proving that he knew the best material and how to exploit materials to the very best effect.
Cristóbal Balenciaga Spanish heritage influenced a significant amount of his most iconic designs. His wide-hipped ‘Infanta’ dresses from the 1930s drew on the portraiture of the 17th-century Spanish artist Diego Velázquez. Flamenco dresses, matador outfits, and black lace – seen in the traditional mantilla shawls women wore at special ceremonies and during Spanish Holy Week – were also frequent motifs.
In the 1950s, the later phase of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s career, he pioneered new shapes in women’s fashion that had never been seen before. These unique designs evolved gradually as he reworked and refined the same ideas from season to season. In 1957 Cristóbal Balenciaga shocked the fashion industry by introducing the ‘sack dress,’ a downshift and straight-up dress that eliminated the waist.
When Christian Dior’s hourglass-shaped New Look was still trending, the ‘sack’ was initially met with hostility from both press and clients. Like many of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s unique designs, this looks filtered into the mainstream. The sack dress was the forerunner of the ubiquitous mini-dress in the 1960s and remains a fashion staple today.
The baby doll dress from the 1950s continued the theme of abstracting the body, with its trapeze-like shape skimming the waist. This abstraction reached a peak in Cristóbal Balenciaga’s designs of the late 60s, as can be seen in the dramatic four (4)-pointed ‘envelope dress’ that was shown the year before Balenciaga closed the house.
Balenciaga dressed women with a strong sense of fashion, and his clients were extremely loyal. Cristóbal Balenciaga dressed some of the most glamorous ladies of the 1950s and 1960s, including fashion icon Gloria Guinness, Hollywood actress Ava Gardener, and Mona von Bismarck, one of the world’s richest women, who commissioned everything from gardening shorts to ball gowns from the couturier. When Balenciaga’s fashion house closed in 1968, the news shocked his clientele, who experienced a real sense of loss (Mona von Bismarck) who supposedly shut herself in her room for 3 days straight.
What is Balenciaga famous for?
Balenciaga is famous for his innovative designs and craftsmanship; the founder of the brand “Cristóbal Balenciaga” was known as ‘The Master’ of haute couture. Its fashion sense inspires those designers who follow in his footsteps, and his work has continuously shaped today’s fashion.
Balenciaga is well known for revolutionizing women’s fashion in a new sense in the mid-20th century, such as the “semi-fit” lines of the mid-50s, the “ballroom hems” of the early 1950s, and the introduction of the “sack dress” in the 1950s
The fashion house’s success was nearly immediate. In 2 years, the press lauded Balenciaga as a revolutionary, and his designs were greatly sought-after.
Balenciaga’s Target Market you should know
Balenciaga caters to consumers, including both women and men. Its designs often appeal to people who value originality and want to make an excellent statement with their clothing choices. However, Balenciaga is generally targeted toward people interested in high-end fashion and willing to pay for quality, timeless pieces.
7 reasons why Balenciaga is so popular
Below are reasons why Balenciaga is so popular
#1. Balenciaga is known for its avant-garde and innovative designs, and the brand has been a major player in the fashion industry for over 100 years.
#2. Balenciaga’s ability to stay ahead of trends and consistent y produce desirable and fashionable clothing and accessories.
#3. Balenciaga has a reputation for pushing the boundaries of traditional fashion and introducing unusual and new shapes, silhouettes, and materials to the market.
#4. The brand’s collaborations and partnerships with other well-known brands and personalities. These collaborations and partnerships result in limited-edition collections that are greatly sought after by collectors and fans of both brands.
#5. Balenciaga’s strong presence in the digital world. It has strong social media, regularly posts updates, and following and new collections on its various platforms, which allows them to keep it top of mind for consumers.
In addition to its fashion offerings, Balenciaga has also gained popularity for its
#6. The brand has gained popularity through its accessories, such as shoes, sunglasses, and handbags. These products or accessories are greatly sought due to their craftsmanship, quality, and unique designs.
The brand gained popularity due to its innovative designs, collaborations and partnerships, high-quality accessories, and strong digital presence.
#7. Balenciaga’s consistently unique and fashionable offerings have helped to establish the brand as a leader in the fashion industry.
How Balenciaga became a popular brand
The first Balenciaga fashion show in the 1940s led to instant success for the brand, with many European aristocrats wanting to collaborate with the fashion mogul.
The brand’s success continued for the next decade, but many brands were introducing new designs, which led to the brand’s (Balenciaga) most iconic silhouette. In the 1950s, the brand ‘Dior’ dominated women’s fashion; they introduced corset-designed dresses showcasing women’s hourglass figures into the fashion industry.
Balenciaga had to switch tactics; they focused on creating outfits that ignored waistlines. The cocoon coat, flat necklines, balloon mini-dress, and collarless blouses were introduced, which became the public’s favorites.
While there was an increase in the popularity of Ready-To-Wear outfits, the brand stuck to its Haute Couture concept. After Nicholas Ghesquière took over Balenciaga in the 1990s under the Kering Group, he reinvigorated the brand with fresh 90s looks from asymmetrical dresses to cigarette pants.
The brand has a long-standing history of introducing unique and top-notch fashion concepts to people. They introduced Defender Sneakers with an exaggerated sole, Crocs Heels, a $1,150 toolbox, a Denim/Sweatpant Hybrid for $2,000, a windbreaker keychain worth $350, a $650 hooded travel pillow, and even a sipping coffee cup for $88. The brand made headlines in August 2022 with the launch of the Trash Pouch.
Balenciaga became the most popular brand in the first quarter of 2022 after a successful Winter/Fall 2022 drop; the brand has also tapped Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian, two (2) of the most celebrities, as its brand ambassadors. TikTok also boosted its sales through its trends, as the brand (Balenciaga) outfits are famous for discussions.
Celebrities like Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, and Rosalía tapping the Balenciaga brand as the only fashion choice. Balenciaga has continued to deliver updated outfits that have become the talk of the town. The brand takes creativity one step further, with each collection dropped during fashion season.
Balenciaga brand is continuously reaching new heights of popularity each day. The Balenciaga brand represents modern streetwear haute-couture and is a massive hit with Millenials and Gen Z., Their strong affiliation with celebrities has made the brand instantly desirable.
The brand’s collaborations with other leading names in the fashion world give it a sense of exclusivity – limited-edition, which bring along popularity for bands, and those people who can’t get their hands on items crave the brand even more than they did before.
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