Cristobal Balenciaga, born in Spain in 1918, was a couturier of impeccable standards. He opened his first shop in Paris in 1937. His elegant style was sleek and sculptural and diverged from the hourglass shape that Dior made the norm in the 1950’s. His iconic pieces include the balloon jacket, the cocoon coat, and the sack dress. Balenciaga launched the careers of several designers that went on to form their own lines such as Hubert de Givenchy, Andre Courreges, Oscar de la Renta and Emanuel Ungaro. After the 1960’s Balenciaga was a sleeping giant until the label was re imagined in the late 1990’s by Nicolas Ghesquière who introduced a futuristic edge to the classic label. He reinvented the brand with pieces like robot leggings, equestrian helmets, and jodhpurs.