Balenciaga is one of the most famous French fashion houses but only a few know that it was actually founded in Spain by Cristóbal Balenciaga. He opened his first haute couture boutique in 1917 in San Sebastian from where he expanded to Madrid and Barcelona. His business was a huge success, even the Spanish Royal Family wore his designs but he was forced to close it because of the Spanish Civil War. He fled to France and managed to open his Paris couture house on Avenue George V in 1937, where the Balenciaga was born. His first collection was perceived both by the press and the customers brand as revolutionary and it immediately became a huge success. He directed the fashion house until 1968 and died in 1972. The Balenciaga house lay dormant until 1986, when the Jacques Bogart S.A. acquired the rights to the brand and started the restoration of its fame. Today, Balenciaga is one of the most renown brands of the world, which is mostly attributable to its great emphasis on the functionality of clothes, which – mixed with its historically avant-garde approach –results in modern, comfortable yet playful and aesthetically pleasing designs.