Cristóbal Balenciaga was a famous Spanish fashion designer who was born in Gipuzkoa. He started out with a boutique in San Sebastian and made dresses for the wealthy and even the royal family, but the Spanish Civil War forced him to move his operations to Paris. He worked in Paris for 30 years and again made dresses for the elite like the wedding dress of Queen Fabiola of Belgium. Balenciaga’s methods and works were considered inventive for his day and he mentored designers such as Hubert de Givenchy and was an inspiration to Oscar de la Renta. Designer Christian Dior referred to him as “the master of us all”. He passed away in Alicante, Spain in 1972 at the age of 77.