Cristobal Balenciaga Eizaguirre was a Spanish Basque designer and founder of fashion house Balenciaga. Training since childhood as a tailor, Balenciaga is notable for being one of the few designers who could design, cut and sew his own designs. He achieved success in Spain just after World War I, but the Spanish Civil War prompted a move to Paris.
He rose to prominence in the post-World War II years, with his architectural designs. His work helped popularize the tunic dress, chemise dress and empire waistlines on dresses and coats. Balenciaga retired and closed his haute couture houses in 1968, and passed away in Spain in 1972.
The Balenciaga name continues to offer clothing and accessories today, as part of the Gucci group and under the direction of Nicholas Ghesquiere.
The first fragrance introduced under the Balenciaga name was Le Dix, in 1947. This perfume was named after the address of Balenciaga's boutique in Paris. Balenciaga offers fragrances today in conjunction with Coty.