Founded in 1919 by Spanish Basque master tailor Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972), also known as 'fashion's Picasso'. Enigmatic Balenciaga gave only one interview ever "because of the absolute impossibility of explaining my metier to anyone". Meanwhile he modernized the female silhouette in 1951 by broadening the shoulders and removing the waist, leading to the famous shirt dress. All his austere sculptural silhouettes were made of eye-watering expensive materials and showed graphic grace. The House of Balenciaga was revived by Nicholas Ghesquière between 1997 and 2012; current creative designer is Alexander Wang.