HEADQUARTERS: Paris, France
FOUNDER: Cristóbal Balenciaga
CEO: Cédric Charbit
REVENUE: $1 billion (2018)
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.
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.
Current Creative Director Demna Gvasalia – along Vetements – 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.