Balenciaga was founded way back in 1919 in Paris, but it’s aesthetic is by no means out of date.
Today, Balenciaga takes inspiration from the streets, and produces clothes that reference modern basics (such as the humble hoodie or an oversized pair of trainers) but done with extravagant materials (and all under the exacting standards of Demna Gvasalia).
The history of Balenciaga
Balenciaga is a brand steeped in fashion history. Crisóbal Balenciaga was born in 1895, and opened his first boutique (under his own name() in 1919, in San Sebastián, Spain. It was immediately successful, and spawned more branches in both Madrid and Barcelona. At the height of the Spanish Civil War, Balenciaga was forced to close down his stores, and so he moved from his native Spain to Paris, France.
It was there – from Avenue George V – that Balenciaga became one of fashion’s all-time great innovators. He radically transformed the female silhouette, adding broader shoulders and getting rid of the waist, which immediately earned him celebrity clientele (such as Marella Agnelli, Pauline de Rothschild and Jackie Kennedy).
He retired in 1968, and passed away in 1972. The brand stayed dormant until 1986, when Jacques Bogart SA acquired the rights to the company. Throughout the 90s the brand once again became the epitome of fashion, under Josephus Thimister, and in 2001 the Gucci Group (now Kering) acquired Balenciaga.
In 2002 the brand unveiled its first menswear line.
What’s Balenciaga doing today?
Both Alexander Wang and Nicolas Ghesquire have previously designed menswear for the house, but most recently the sartorial mantle has landed in Demna Gvasalia’s lap.
Crisóbal Balenciaga didn’t design menswear back in the day, so Gvasalia tends to run wild with the brand’s men’s collections. Still, all the clothes follow a similar Balenciaga aesthetic, by playing with form and silhouettes.
Most recently, Balenciaga’s menswear has taken inspiration from the streets – with a collection of unorthodox basics and refined footwear.
In January 2018, Balenciaga teamed up with Mr Porter to create a limited edition Mr Porter x Balenciaga collection.
Where can I buy Balenciaga in the UAE?
Balenciaga has one boutique in Dubai at the Mall of the Emirates. Balenciaga footwear is available from Level Shoe District, in The Dubai Mall. There is another Balenciaga boutique located in Abu Dhabi’s Galleria Al Maryah Island.
Balenciaga Dubai Mall of the Emirates
Balenciaga Level Shoe District Dubai Mall
Balenciaga Abu Dhabi Galleria Al Maryah Island