While the world now knows Balenciaga as the makers of some of the most unique and expensive designer sneakers on the market, the company itself started out back in 1919 as a small shop in Sebastian, Spain called The Cristobal Balenciaga House of Haute Couture. However, by 1937 the brand had moved its headquarters to the fashion capital of the world – a move that was partly made to elevate the brand and partly to seek refuge from the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War. The company has changed a lot since then, having been bought by French multinational conglomerate Kering.
The Product of an Innovative Fashion Genius
Cristobal Balenciaga became known as one of Spain’s top couturiers for his ability to tailor custom muslin patterns called “toiles.” Long before Cristobal’s name was used to market the futuristic Balenciaga sneakers that we see today, he was using meticulous techniques to create graceful and fluid pieces that gained him widespread respect in the fashion world during the early 20th century, especially within the niche of designing female silhouettes. During his teenage years, he was introduced to Marquesa de Casa Torres, the most popular female fashion figure in his area, who modelled his clothing and went on to become his mentor.
Accommodating the Demand of the Modern Market
So, how did the brand go from making women’s clothing and perfumes to being one of the top producers of designer sneakers in the world? As with any business, sales are always the most important factor and sneakers have been one of the best-selling fashion items for a number of years at reputable sites like SSENSE. With Balenciaga’s leverage as a designer brand already evident, the company was perfectly positioned to release its own interesting take on shoe design. The sneaker heads are always looking for something new to wear, and Balenciaga was an ideal brand to introduce a new style of athletic designer sneakers that have become an acquired taste for fashion enthusiasts and sneaker collectors worldwide.
Eccentric Yet Functional Design
While the authority of the brand name certainly played a role in the rise of Balenciaga sneakers, one must also admit that the designs of the shoes themselves are not like anything you’ve seen before. So many shoe brands and designers have been competing in the same lane for so long that Balenciaga made a wise decision by creating an entirely new lane of bulky but beautiful sneakers that still manage to be comfortable and lightweight.
It’s All Been Done Before, or Has It?
Ultimately, the recent success of this designer shoe brand can mostly be attributed to the fact that the shoes themselves have a look that most of us had never seen or even imagined prior to the release of Balenciaga’s line of $700+ sneakers. The polarizing, hate-it-or-love-it design initially attracted a lot of criticism, but with that skepticism came plenty of publicity and eventually the brand found its footing in an industry that has been craving change for a number of years now.