The Full Story
The House of Balenciaga was created March 8, 2002 with the departure of Harold and Raquell from the legendary House of Miyake Mugler. Immediately joining them were Kitty, Tregonie(Mizrahi), DeMario (Mizrahi), Ray (DC/retired), Rob, Mario (VA), Ed and BeBe. It was important that the House of Balenciaga establish a credible identity and the additions of key members of the now defunct House of Armani, Mariah and Maurice, who were the overall mother and father of the House of Armani, Lichelle Lopez, Feroza, LaTanya (retired), Lerone(retired) and Dean began to help form the nucleus. The formation of the house continued as Rodney (Milan), Calvin, Christian, Yancey, Mook, Dewayne (Retired), Ayanna, and Marlo crossed from Mugler to Balenciaga. The next few weeks the house began to prepare for the debut and added additional members including Ralph, Taz, Jerome, Mario (GA), Kaya (Mizrahi), Huey(retired), Jessica (retired), Hue-shan(retired), Shane(retired), Carl (retired, Sandy(retired), Huey(retired) and Amber(retired).
On April 21, 2002, the Milan Ball, Celebration Hall, Atlanta, GA the ballroom scene was eagerly anticipating the Balenciaga debut, and we did not let them down. Rob and Shane won the very first Balenciaga trophy, winning new face and setting the tempo for the night. Kaya followed up winning new FQ Face, Mariah and Jessica won BQ Drags Face, Calvin won masculine face, and it was only fitting that the father Harold won executive realness and the mother Raquell won legendary FQ Face. When the night was over the House of Balenciaga had won 6 trophies and was in the final battle for numerous other categories including vogue fem, woman’s face, drags realness, and fq-realness.
The remainder of 2002 the foundation continued to grow as the membership expanded with the additions of Mario(Chicago), Jaimee, Rodney(ATL), Buddah(NJ), Morgan (Jourdan) and Dee(all formerly Jourdans), Duke, Marquise and Egypt (formerly Muglers), Richard, Eugene, and Kyan(007)(formerly Christian Bazzars), Gray(formerlyRodeo), Eric, Marcus(retired) Kai, Jamal(Milan), Craig(Milan), Dajuan(Milan) (all former Milans but have returned except Kai), Rico(formerly Chanel) and Melvin(formerly Aunjha). This roster of individuals formed the Balenciaga family. Our commitment and dedication to the pursuit of excellence formulated the image that is Balenciaga today. The success of the House of Balenciaga led us to New House of the Year at the Atlanta, Dorian Corey and Jack and Andre’s Awards Ball.
The awards were well earned as we won most of the year trophies ever by one house in ballroom history at Jack and Andre’s Awards Ball. The House of Balenciaga continues to be a major player in the ballroom scene constantly winning awards. Members of the house have made some impressive achievements in the scene from Raquell becoming the first $5000 winner winning FQ Face at the Ebony Ball, Buddah becoming the first legendary BQ sex siren, Jerome the first $1000 BQ sex siren winner, Kai’s 3 year reign as All American runway of the year, Jaimee winner of woman’s face of the year 8 years in a row,Maurice (GA) bazaar 3 time of the year winner, Mariah a 3 time BQD face of the year winner and so much more.
The first Balenciaga house ball 2nd Genesis was thrown in Washington DC 5/25/03 at the Washington Plaza Hotel and is on record as one of the best balls to date. The ball began the rebirth of the Washington DC ballroom scene as over 900 people were in attendance. Balenciaga functions have become some of the most competitive in the ballroom scene as competitors and spectators alike come out to support, the 2nd house ball was in 2005 at Club Nations in Washington entitled Paradise and was the ball where $5000 was awarded for OTA sex siren.
The House of Balenciaga has become synonymous with quality, whether it is the members that make up the house, the productions showcased on the ballroom runway or the functions hosted, a commitment to professionalism and elegance is always exhibited. The dedication to that commitment has formulated the house into what it is today and will be the catalyst that ushers it through the future.
In April of 2015 the House of Balenciaga found itself dealing with death for the very first time as we mourned the loss of Dean Williams one of our founding members. Dean didn’t walk a ballroom category but was considered a house historian. He was a family-oriented individual who lived, loved and breathed the House of Balenciaga. In his honor the House of Balenciaga has created the Dean Balenciaga Humanitarian Award to recognize members unselfish work done in the community. Feroza Balenciaga was the initial recipient of this award in 2019.
In October of 2015 the House of Balenciaga following the growing trend in ballroom, expanded internationally adding its first international members Alaia, Ivy and former member Antony, in Paris, France, to the Balenciaga family. Their interest in Balenciaga was brought forth by Jahaira after a few conversations with Ivy. The house leadership mulled over this decision for almost a year before extending the international memberships. The patience and commitment to joining the house were eventually what helped to convince leadership these individuals would be a good fit. To date the House of Balenciaga has family members in France, Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom.
On September 4, 2016 the House of Balenciaga instituted it’s first change in overall leadership as Raquell adorned Shannon with the title of Overall Mother. Raquell will forever retain her title as Founding Mother of the House of Balenciaga. This transition happened in Atlanta, GA Labor Day weekend at The Affair Ball which was hosted by Yusuf Miyake-Mugler, Jason “Pampers” Milan Tisci and our own Miss Lawrence Balenciaga. This pivotal transition was not the only change instituted on that night as Miss Lawrence replaced Icon Christian Balenciaga who served as the longtime mother of the Atlanta region. Also, on this night we watched one of our fashionistas, Amp Balenciaga, team up with Icon Tyra Supreme Ebony to win the grand prize category at The Affair Ball Team Best Dressed for $5,000. The $5,000 + grand prize categories have become a bench mark of elite success in this generation of ballroom.
January of 2018 Asia Snowden was recognized as the NY/NJ Mother of the House of Balenciaga at the Coldest Winter Ever Ball hosted by Ballroom Throwbacks and Sinia. Asia held the position until her departure from the house in October of 2019.
October 6, 2018 Duante was appointed to the role of East Coast Father of the House of Balenciaga at his On the Run Ball which he co-hosted with Overall Mother Michele St. Laurent at the Howard Theater in Washington, DC. Duante served as a long-time executive board member and active community member which propelled him to the appointed leadership role. On this same night, Overall Mother Shannon, Karma and Mila won the grand prize Female Figure Face category at this ball for $3000. It was a run of big wins for the ladies of Balenciaga as Courtney won $3,000 for FQ Face in Dallas, TX in a few weeks before and Overall Mother Shannon won $5,000 for Perfect 10s at the House of Garcon Ball the next month in November.
On December 8, 2018 the House of Balenciaga hosted its first international ball in Paris, France entitled Winter Is Coming. The ball was organized by Jakob, Ivy, Alaia and our other European family members. It was supported by numerous Balenciagas from the United States. The weekend of the ball the “yellow vest” protesters staged numerous demonstrations shutting down much of Paris which almost caused the ball to be cancelled. Our family was able to find an alternate venue to ensure the show went on! In December of 2018 Daebrian and Mariah with the assistance of legendary Martin embarked on a mission to build the West Coast region of the United States. They initially added Jazmin, Taryn, Chuck and Martin. Veteran talent was added after the initial debut and the region continued to grow and strengthen our presence.
May 20, 2019 the House of Balenciaga unfortunately lost another member as Founder Charles “Kitty” Pettaway passed away. Kitty was legendary for drags realness and while a founder was also instrumental in the operations of the Atlanta region. Kitty was a long-time executive board member and an avid supporter of the house. In his honor the House of Balenciaga has created the Kitty Balenciaga Image of Loyalty Award which Antwoin Balenciaga was the initial recipient in 2019.
In September of 2019 in Atlanta, GA the House of Balenciaga held its first ever International House Meeting with members from all over the world in attendance. The meeting was held at Icon Keith Balenciaga’s house and was an evening full of emotion and revelation that built camaraderie and helped break many barriers. The meeting followed a photo shoot and was held a day after The Affair Ball II hosted by Yusef Mugler, Jason Pampers Tisci and our Atlanta Mother Miss Lawrence Balenciaga. The next day included a cookout at the home of Feroza. One of the most moving moments of that day and weekend was the pool side prayer spoken by Founding Mother Raquell which was reflective of the family bonds and values that have held us together as a family since 2002. The House of Balenciaga initially extended the family internationally in 2015 and Midwest Father Mario Balenciaga saw an opportunity to expand the house’s presence to our Canadian neighbors. In December of 2019, during the weekend of his annual Paragon ball, a Chicago staple, an induction meeting was held that included the induction of GQ and Diséiye, both from Toronto, Ontario along with 5 US based members Chris “Chrissy”, Siren, Shaq, Olivia and CJ. The House of Balenciaga held its first ever induction in Canada via Zoom on November 20, 2022 and those members debuted at the World AIDS Ball in Toronto, ON in December. The Canadian family of Balenciaga has continued to flourish with 8 members in the house that have Canadian nationality as of January 2023.
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