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WD Profile


Established : 1919

Founder: Cristóbal Balenciaga

CEO: Cédric Charbit

Revenue: 2.3 billion (2021)

Number of employees: 1,325 (2019)

Parent organizations: Kering, Kering Holland NV


What is Balenciaga’s history?

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.

He revolutionized women’s fashion in the 1950s, and by the 1960s had developed trademark styles such as the collar deviating from the collar bone, and the “bracelet sleeves.”

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.

What is Balenciaga known for?

Balenciaga is most known for revolutionizing women’s fashion with never-before-seen shapes in the mid-20th century, such as the “ballroom hems” of the early 1950s, the “semi-fit” lines of the mid-50s and the introduction of the “sack dress” in 1957.

Current Creative Director Demna Gvasalia 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.


What is Balenciaga known for now?

With the advent of new forms of footwear, particularly the sock sneaker, Balenciaga released the Speed Sock that attracted much attention amongst influencers and fashionistas alike.

Demna’s creative direction has led the brand to all-star status attracting the likes of Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and Kim Kardashion to the fashion house. Demna’s ironic, polarizing and ironic designs even played a major role in Kanye’s Donda performance and stint at GAP.

Balenciaga describes the sneakers as elevating the sock-like construction of performance athletic footwear alongside an oversized articulated sole to establish a sporty and “forward-looking” profile.

In terms of material, the Speed Sock is made of a 10-millimeter arch and composed of 80% Polyamide material (a stretch-knit upper) and 20% Elasthanne (a white rubber sole), and costs between $500-700.

How much is Balenciaga?

Of course, pricing depends on what sort of item you are looking for, but the ready to wear collection boasts a large range of items available from $90 for Balenciaga trademark socks, to $4,152 for a Balenciaga Painted Biker Jacket, making it safe to say that Balenciaga takes its place as a luxury brand.


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