When Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga established his atelier at 10 Avenue George V in 1937, there was no way he could have imagined that his name would become one of the biggest in fashion. Fast forward nearly a century, and Balenciaga is just that. While Demna has expertly kept Balenciaga's legacy not only alive but at the forefront of the sartorial zeitgeist, the hallowed halls of its historic headquarters have long been reserved for the privileged few. That is until now.
Two years since Demna reestablished the maison's haute couture branch, Balenciaga is giving us an unprecedented look at their ateliers with an immersive 3D-scanned tour. Opening their doors like never before, a narrator guides you through the location of Cristóbal Balenciaga's first and only Parisian haute couture fashion house. From the grand staircase to the stark white salons (restored to their former old-world glory), the tour offers a never-before-seen glimpse into the world of Balenciaga, including the room where the master couturier would sketch the sculptural silhouettes that made him Paris' master of couture.
The importance of 10 Avenue George V to Balenciaga can't be downplayed, with the designer going so far as to name his first fragrance, Le Dix, after it. Where he created, fitted, showcased and sold his haute couture creations, this historic significance was revived with a renovation of the Salons de Couture in 2021, headed by artistic director Demna ahead of his debut haute couture collection and Balenciaga's first since their founder left fashion in 1968. The project saw the conjoining of 10 and 12 Avenue George V to better resemble the space as Cristóbal Balenciaga knew it.
Acknowledging Balenciaga's past while looking firmly to the future has come to define Demna's creative output in recent years. The innovative tour is just the latest in the Georgian designer's tribute to the brand's heritage. Following his hate couture debut, Demna dedicated the floor level of the historic headquarters as an exclusive and innovative retail space aptly dubbed the Couture Store and is the only place clients can find one-of-a-kind creations and exclusive collaborations.
Looking to immortalise the daunting restoration project, Demna chose the project site as the backdrop for his Winter 23 campaign starring actress Isabelle Huppert, model of the moment Vittoria, and his muse Eliza Douglas. His latest haute couture show also opened with one of Cristóbal Balenciaga's original fit models Danielle Slavik. While still months away from his next couture
Learn more about the restoration of 10-12 Avenue George V at balenciaga.com.