is a fashion house founded in 1914 by Cristóbal Balenciaga, a Spanish designer, born in the Basque Country. He had a reputation as a couturier of uncompromising standards and was referred to as "the master of us all" by Christian Dior. His bubble skirts and odd, feminine, yet ultra-modern shapes were trademarks of the house. The house of Balenciaga is now owned by the French multinational company PPR.
In 1986, Jacques Bogart S.A. acquired the rights to Balenciaga, and opened a new ready-to-wear line, Le Dix. The first collection was designed by Michel Goma in October 1987, who remained at the house for the next five years to mixed reviews. He was replaced in 1992 with Dutch designer Josephus Melchior Thimister who began the restoration of Balenciaga to an elite, high-fashion status. During Thimister's term, a young Nicolas Ghesquiere would join as a license designer, and eventally promoted to head designer in 1997.
Balenciaga is now owned by the Gucci Group (part of PPR), and its womenswear and menswear is headed by Nicolas Ghesquière. Ghesquiere, like Balenciaga, is a self-taught designer, and apprenticed to Jean-Paul Gaultier and Agnes B. The hip, fresh interpretation of Balenciaga classics, such as the semifitted jacket and the sack dress, caught the attention of the media as well as such celebrities as Madonna and Sinead O'Connor.
There was some conflict within the house of Balenciaga on Nicolas Ghesquiere's designs. The Gucci group said that if Balenciaga ...