Cristóbal Balenciaga is a Spanish fashion designer known by many in the fashion world for creating the future of fashion and the beginning of everything that is news in the fashion world. Cristóbal soon became famed for his innovative designs and exquisite craftsmanship. Known as the Master of Haute Couture, he was an inspiration to the designers who followed in his footsteps and today his work continues to shape fashion. Lauded as one of the greatest fashion designers of the 20th century, the precision and allure of his craftsmanship were described as being akin to sculpture or architecture.
He was born in a small fishing village, Getaria, in the Basque region of northern Spain in 1895 where he lived with his widowed mother who was a seamstress. His mother was the first to introduce him to fashion as she created designs for the most fashionable women in the village. At the age of 12, Cristóbal started his apprenticeship with a tailor in the fashionable resort of San Sebastian where he opened his first fashion house in 1917 called ‘Eisa’ – a shortened version of his mother’s maiden name. Soon after he opened two more boutiques in Madrid and Barcelona. Forced to close down his outlets due to the Spanish Civil War, the resilient Cristóbal started all over again in Paris and in 1937 he officially opened the house of Balenciaga.
During the 1950s and 60s, some of the most glamorous women were dressed in Balenciaga, including Gloria Guinness, Hollywood actress Ava Gardner, and one of the wealthiest women in the world, Mona von Bismarck who commissioned almost all her clothing from the famous couturier. He liked designing clothes for women with a strong sense of style and soon had an extremely loyal clientele. Rumor has it that when he closed his fashion house in 1968, Mona von Bismarck was so shocked that she shut herself away in her room for three days.
Despite all this fame, Cristóbal closed down his Maison in Paris in 1968 before passing away at the age of 77 four years later. For almost two decades the house of Balenciaga remained silent before a wave of new designers were employed to carry the brand into the 21st century, including fashion accessories like shoes and handbags.
Many women know that Balenciaga is one of the most beautiful and expensive designer brands and also one of the top designers of luxury handbags. Next to shoes, handbags are one of the most important fashion accessories and Balenciaga bags are the top choice for most women who love designer handbags. In the world of handbags, owning a Balenciaga is like owning a Bentley. Made from the finest leather with top-quality construction, Balenciaga bags are light as a feather due to the ultra-thin cut of the leather. A key factor is that the style has remained virtually the same throughout the years. However, avid collectors will notice the tiny differences in each new design. Balenciaga is well known for making a larger, envelope clutches in bright colors that feature bold silver or gold hardware. This means carrying a clutch no longer means carrying a bag that is too small to hold all the things a woman needs to keep in her handbag. Their classic motorcycle style comes in many colors and shapes to suit any woman’s wardrobe.