The Spanish fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga was born on January 21 in 1895. After studying dressmaking as a child, by age 20, Cristobal started his own brand and became Spanish’s leading couturier. In 1937, he moved to Paris due to the Spanish Civil War. Balenciaga’s designs are famous by its capes, flowing clothes without waistlines, as well as the use of plastic for rainwear. Cristobal died in 1972 in Valencia, Spain.
In fact, Schiaparelli’s designs were often all too simple to copy, unlike the work of her chief rival, Coco Chanel. After World War II, Schiaparelli, who had lived in New York during the war, returned to Paris and found a different sensibility among its people. The post-war desire for simplicity and practicality made the unique embellishments of her designs less popular, and the endless knock-offs also cut into her profits.
After working for Dior, Schiaparelli and Paquin, Pierre Cardin opened his fashion house in 1947. Initially designing costumes for stage productions, he launched his first women’s couture collection in 1953 and women’s ready-to-wear in 1959. Cardin’s company grew into an empire starting in the 1960s when he began licensing his name to a wide array of products outside of clothing.
Fashion designer Jimmy Choo was born in Penang, Malaysia in 1961. He used the craftsmanship he learned from his father, also a cobbler, to create some of the most coveted shoes in the world. Choo opened his first shop in Hackney in 1986 in an old hospital building. Within two years of opening his shop, Choo’s shoes were featured in an eight-page spread in Vogue magazine. Soon, Choo became the darling of the celebrity world, in particular Princess Diana, who donned Choo’s footwear seemingly everywhere she went. Jimmy Choo rose to fame for the quality and style of his handmade women’s shoes.