Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972) was a Spanish fashion designer. He began working as an apprentice to a tailor when he was twelve, and he opened his first boutique in Spain in 1919.

His designs were a hit with the Spanish royal family and aristocracy. He became known for designing royal wedding dresses, and he became extremely popular in Europe and the United States throughout the twentieth century. He retired in 1968 and began to teach fashion classes. Today, the Balenciaga name is still synonymous with grace and sophistication.

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