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The story

Cristóbal Balenciaga learnt about couture by studying models by Madeleine Vionnet, Gabrielle Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli.

He opened his first fashion house in Spain in 1918 and moved to France in 1937. Known as the “fashion designer's designer”, he focused on haute couture. In the 60s, he was asked to design uniforms for Air France's hostesses. In 1946 his famous 'Le Dix' perfume was created. Renewal came with the arrival of Nicolas Ghesquière in 1997 and since then the label has presented a line of handbags.

Balenciaga today

After three years as creative director at Balenciaga, where he succeeded Nicolas Ghesquière, Alexander Wang stepped down in July 2015. He brought a new originality to the label while maintaining its founder's legacy.

Kate Moss, Asia Argento and Charlotte Gainsbourg are regularly seen wearing the brand's garments contributing to its fame. Every collection brings a new “it” bag; pride of place goes to the 'City' that Lucy Liu, Gisele Bündchen and Sarah Michelle Gellar all fell for.

The key pieces:

The City and First bags, the 'baby doll' dress, the 'egg' coat, and 'Le Dix' perfume.

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