Balenciaga is a French fashion house founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga, a Spanish designer, born in the Basque Country, Spain. Cristóbal Balenciaga opened his first boutique in San Sebastián, Spain in 1918, 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, and his first runway show featured designs heavily influenced by the Spanish Renaissance. Balenciaga’s success in Paris was nearly immediate. Within two years, the French press lauded him as a revolutionary, and his designs were highly sought-after. Carmel Snow, the editor of Harper’s Bazaar was an early champion of his designs. Alexander Wang was appointed the new Creative Director of the Balenciaga fashion house in December 2012. Alexander Wang has responsibility for designing the brand’s women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories collections, as well as for Balenciaga’s image.