The upper floor of the exhibition makes a convincing case for Balenciaga as a godfather of modern fashion. A simple white gown made by Phoebe Philo’s Celine for Tilda Swinton’s Bafta red carpet turn in 2012 has strong echoes of Balenciaga’s uncompromising minimalism. Pieces by designers as diverse as Azzedine Alaïa, Comme des Garçons, Gareth Pugh and Molly Goddard are brought together under the umbrella of Balenciaga influence. But the real life and energy of this show is not in the contemporary pieces, but on the ground floor among the fearsome ghosts of Balenciaga, his “monster” models, and a glamorous clientele which included Elizabeth Park Firestone of the Firestone Tyre fortune, Ava Gardner, and Mona Bismarck, whose devotion to the couturier ran so deep that she had gardening shorts made to order.
The brand is mentioned in the single " New Americana " by Halsey . Nicki Minaj references the brand in her first single from the album Pink Print , "Bed of Lies": "Balenciaga's on my boot with the python strap". It is also mentioned in A$AP Rocky 's song " Fashion Killa ". Ghanaian rapper EL makes reference to the brand in his hit single "Koko"—"See me rocking my Balenciaga for my God oo." The brand is also referenced to by Bronx rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie in his song "Not a Regular Person" with the lyrics "I'm done with these Balenciagas, they keep on fucking my socks up."