Cristóbal Balenciaga, born in the Basque Country, Spain, founded the fashion house Balenciaga. He had a reputation as a couturier of uncompromising standards and was referred to as “the master of us all” by Christian Dior. Balenciaga defiantly resisted the rules, guidelines and bourgeoisie status of Haute Couture. Although he is spoken of with immense reverence, technically, Balenciaga couture was never Haute Couture. Cristóbal Balenciaga closed his fashion house in 1968, and died in 1972. The house lay dormant until 1986.