Today Wikipedia will meet you with someone you already know.
He was born May 14, 1950 in Ourense, Galicia in northern Spain. He studied design and cinematography in Paris, with further studies in London.
He took over his father's fashion boutique in Ourense in the early 1970s. He spent the following years developing his own designs, and finally made the big jump with a presentation of his work in Madrid in 1981. He also became the first Spanish designer to open his own brand-name store in Madrid, which soon mushroomed into a chain with outlets across Spain and abroad. The company went public in 1997.
His style is urbane, functional, casual and eminently comfortable, making use of loose, natural fabrics. One of his key marketing strategies has been to avoid distribution through multi-brand shops and target the ultimate consumer directly, reducing delivery time and cost to the buyers.
He was among the first to inject a new, fresh approach in Spanish fashion, spearheading the rise of a generation of new designers
Cristóbal Balenciaga Eizaguirre (January 21, 1895, Spain – March 23, 1972, Spain) was a Spanish Basque fashion designer and the founder of the Balenciaga fashion house.
Balenciaga was born in Getaria, a fishing town in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa, on January 21, 1895. His mother was a seamstress, and as a child Balenciaga often spent time with her as she worked. At the age of twelve, he began work as the apprentice of a tailor. When Balenciaga was a teenager, the Marchioness de Casa Torres, the foremost noblewoman in his town, became his customer and patron. She sent him to Madrid, where he was formally trained in tailoring. (Balenciaga is notable as one of the few couturiers in fashion history who could use their own hands to design, cut, and sew the models which symbolized the height of his artistry.)
Balenciaga was successful during his early career as a designer in Spain. He opened a boutique in San Sebastián, Spain, in 1919, which expanded to include branches in Madrid and Barcelona. The Spanish royal family and the aristocracy wore his designs, but when the Spanish Civil War forced him to close his stores, Balenciaga moved to Paris. Balenciaga opened his Paris couture house on Avenue George V in August 1937.
However, it was not until the post-war years that the full scale of the inventiveness of this highly original designer became evident. In 1951, he totally transformed the silhouette, broadening the shoulders and removing the waist. In 1955, he designed the tunic dress, which later developed into the chemise dress of 1957. And eventually, in 1959, his work culminated in the Empire line, with high-waisted dresses and coats cut like kimonos. His often spare, sculptural creations were considered masterworks of haute couture in the 1950s and 1960s.
Balenciaga closed his house in 1968 at the age of 74 after working in Paris for 30 years. He decided to retire and closed his fashion houses in Paris, Barcelona and Madrid, one after the other.
He taught fashion design classes, inspiring other designers such as Oscar de la Renta, André Courrèges, Emanuel Ungaro, Mila Schön and Hubert de Givenchy. Today the Balenciaga fashion house continues under the direction of Nicolas Ghesquière and under the ownership of the Gucci Group.
Balenciaga died March 23, 1972 in Jávea, Spain.
Manuel "Manolo" Blahnik Rodríguez CBE, (pronounced /məˈnoʊloʊ ˈblɑːnɨk/; born 28 November 1942), is a Spanish fashion designer and founder of the self-named, high-end shoe brand.
Born to a Czech father and a Spanish mother and born and raised in the Canary Islands (Spain), Blahnik graduated from the University of Geneva in 1965 and studied art in Paris. He moved to London in 1968 to work at fashion boutique "Zapata" and write for Vogue Italia. After showing his portfolio of fashions and set designs to Diana Vreeland, she told him that he should design only footwear. In 1972, Ossie Clark invited him to create shoes for his runway show. With a loan of £2,000, Blahnik bought Zapata from its owner and opened his own boutique.
In the 1970s, when chunky platform shoes and boots were the mainstream footwear styling of the day, Manolo Blahnik turned back his attention to the stiletto heel, which has remained the brand's mainstay to this day. Manolo Blahnik shoes have rapidly become a symbol of pure classical style for the 21st century.
Manolo Blahnik's flagship store remains to date in Old Church Street, Chelsea London.
Blahnik's boutiques are located in London, New York, Las Vegas, Dublin, Athens, Madrid, Istanbul, Dubai, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore. Bloomingdales (for which he created his first American collection), Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue carry his line in the United States and newly opened in Dubai Mall.
Blahnik was awarded the honorary title of Commander of the British Empire in 2007 for his service to the British fashion industry.
Carrie Bradshaw from SATC is a fan of Blahnik
Francisco "Paco" Rabaneda Cuervo, more commonly known as Paco Rabanne (born 18 February 1934) is a Franco-Spanish fashion designer. He fled Spain for France with his mother when the Spanish Civil War broke out. He originally had an architect's education but became known as the enfant terrible of the French fashion world in the 1960s.
Rabanne started his career in fashion by creating jewelry for Givenchy, Dior, and Balenciaga. He started his own fashion house in 1966. He used such unconventional materials as metal, paper and plastic for his outlandish and flamboyant designs.
Paco Rabanne is known for his costume designs for such films as Barbarella. Also Françoise Hardy was a big fan of Rabanne's designs. The popular French singer Mylene Farmer continues to bring the extravagance of Paco Rabanne to her live concerts.
Rabanne also has an interest in paranormal phenomena. He became infamous for his false prediction of the Russian space station Mir falling on Paris in 1999.
In 2005, Rabanne opened the first exhibition of his drawings, located in Moscow. His reasoning for showing the drawings then was, "I am 72 years old and I wanted to present my drawings this year before disappearing from this planet. I have not shown them to anyone except Salvador Dalí 30 years ago who told me to keep going." One of the black and white sketches depicts a child letting go of a white balloon and a dove into the sky. The scene was inspired by the commemoration ceremony for the Beslan attack, in which 319 hostages were killed, including 186 children, 12 servicemen, and 31 hostage-takers. Rabanne wanted the money that the drawing sold for to go to the women of Beslan.