Completed article: Balenciaga History
Balenciaga is famous for its items with a large brand name printed on them. Nowadays, it has become an indispensable part of street fashion.
Did you know that Balenciaga is a long-established brand that has been in business for over 100 years?
In this article, I will introduce its history.
In 1914, Cristobal Balenciaga opened his own atelier in Spain. This was the beginning of the brand!
He learned how to sew from his mother, a seamstress, and started working as a seamstress at the age of 12.
His ability was so high that he had a French marquise as a customer. With her support, he became independent. His designs gained a great reputation in Paris.
In 1933, he opened new stores in Madrid and in 1935 in Barcelona. The brand steadily gained popularity, and even the royal family became his customers.
The brand grew to become one of Spain’s leading fashion houses.
War and Growth
Cristobal moved to Paris due to the Spanish Civil War. He set up store on the streets of Paris and held his first collection. This was a major turning point in his career.
The items that appeared in the collection were a big hit with Parisians.
The collection featured clothes that could be worn loosely without worrying about the shape of the body, such as the “barrel look” without a waistline and the “sack dress” that pursued simplicity.
The mainstream fashion at the time was the use of corsets to secure the waist and emphasize the lines of the body. The designs that went against the trend influenced the fashion world.
Then, she reopened her closed store in Spain. Despite being closed for so long, their popularity was on the rise, not decline!
In 1964, they released a perfume, which became a popular item. The name was “Le Dis”, which means “10” in French. It was given this name because the address of the first atelier was at number 10.
The following year, Christian Dior launched the “New Look” line. It caused a huge movement around the world, but it did not have much influence on Balenciaga. The reason is that the New Look and Balenciaga’s design had something in common.
Dior himself was a fan of Balenciaga. Dior himself was a fan of Balenciaga, and he was so much in love with Cristobal that he called him “a mentor for all of us.
In 1955, he introduced the “tunic line,” which, along with Dior’s “A-line,” became the talk of the town.
In 1955, he introduced the “Tunic Line”, which was the talk of the town, along with Dior’s “A Line”, and was so innovative that he was called “the artist of mode”, and it was even said that “no one can match Balenciaga in mode”.
He was also highly skilled as a couturier. He was so skilled as a couturier that Coco Chanel said, “He is the only true couturier.
Cristobal went to a factory in the U.S. to see the latest technology in prêt-à-porter. After witnessing the factory in person, he decided that machines could not produce what he wanted.
After returning to Japan, he continued to sell more products than other brands without mechanization, probably because of his high technology.
The decline of the brand
Although Balenciaga became popular for its outstanding technology and novel design, it went into decline with the changing times.
This was triggered by the French May Revolution that occurred on May 8, 1968. It was a movement led by students to break down the old social system and values. It had a great impact not only on culture and politics, but also on fashion.
Before the revolution, the mainstream was conservative dress, represented by the “preppy style”. Boys wore jackets and ties, and girls wore neat skirts.
These fashions were considered “symbols of power” and declined. On the contrary, casual fashions such as jeans spread rapidly.
Balenciaga’s fashions, which emphasized “luxury” and “elegance”, were left behind by the times.
In this year, Cristobal held his last collection and retired. “He said, “I’m too old to start prêt-à-porter.
Thus, he closed all his stores, including those in Spain.
The decline of Balenciaga had such an impact that it was said to change the common sense of mode.
In 1972, Cristobal passed away. “In 1972, Cristobal died, and the brand was in danger of bankruptcy.
Revival of the brand
After Cristobal’s retirement, Balenciaga was in a state of stagnation for a long time, but it came back to life with the appearance of a certain designer.
His name was Nicolas Ghesquière. His name is Nicolas Ghesquière, and he is currently working as a designer for Louis Vuitton, succeeding Marc Jacobs.
He was only 26 years old when he was chosen to be the designer for the historic Balenciaga.
He made a strong debut with the spring/summer collection in 1998. After that, he introduced new designs every season.
In 2000, he won the “Avant-garde Designer of the Year” award, and in 2001, he won another international award and gained a worldwide reputation.
In the midst of all this, one brand group took notice of Nikola, the man who had led the revival of the brand.
It was the Gucci Group. Gucci, which was in the process of acquiring a number of brands to form a large brand company, wanted Nikola’s talent.
The acquisition was mutually beneficial. Gucci wanted Nikola’s talent, and Balenciaga wanted Gucci’s capital.
The one thing that the brand lacked in its global expansion was money. NICHOLA saw the acquisition as an opportunity to not only solve this problem, but also to have the backing of the Gucci Group.
By accepting the acquisition, Balenciaga gained further momentum and expanded its product line to the rest of the world.
Expansion to Japan
In 2006, Balenciaga Japan was established. In 2006, Balenciaga Japan was established, with a strategy to increase the sales in Japan to one quarter of the global sales.
In the following year, the company started its nationwide expansion, including Hankyu Umeda and Seibu Shinjuku. Later, the Gucci Group acquired the rights to Balenciaga Japan.
It was this kind of strategy that made Balenciaga so well known in Japan today.
After Nikola’s retirement
After leading the brand for 15 years, Nicolas retired in 2012. Alexander Wang was appointed as his successor. He is the first Asian creative designer. He had his own brand, but it was not very popular and he was forced to step down after two years.
After several changes, Demna Vazalia, the head designer of Vetements, took over. He had developed Vetements into a famous brand in just a few years, and it was interesting to see how he would lead Balenciaga.
Although Balenciaga has a history of more than 100 years, it is now perceived as a street brand by young people.
Balenciaga, which has been around for more than 100 years, is now recognized by young people as a street brand, and although it was once in danger of going out of business, it has grown into a brand that is at the forefront of luxury street fashion.
Balenciaga was initially founded as a luxury haute couture store. It’s amazing that it actually has a history of more than 100 years.
Cristobal, the founder of the company, was a man of such ability that Dior took notice.
It became a global brand due to its high technology, but it declined due to the changing times.
Later, the brand made a dramatic comeback in the hands of a young genius designer. With the acquisition of the Gucci Group, the brand began a large-scale global expansion.
Today, it is recognized by young people as a street brand by newly appointed designers.