Cristóbal Balenciaga was born on January 21, 1895, in Getaria, Spain. He studied dressmaking as a child, and by age 20, had his own firm and became Spain’s leading couturier. In 1937, he moved to Paris due to the Spanish Civil War. Balenciaga’s designs popularized capes, flowing clothes without waistlines, as well as the use of plastic for rainwear. He died in 1972 in Valencia, Spain.