Elio Berhanyer was born Eliseo Berenguer in Cordoba, Spain, in 1929. At the age of 17, he left home for Madrid to seek work.
In 1958 he joined the fashion magazine La Moda and worked in various fashion shops, painting in his spare time. In 1959, he opened his own salon in Madrid.
Berhanyer grew to be one of Spain's leading designers, a self-taught specialist in tailoring. He created smartly-cut black dresses, which he teamed with boleros and ruffled blouses, in the traditional Spanish manner.
He started his pret-a-porter line and also introduced his accessories line of purses, shoes, gloves, neckties and handkerchiefs in 1969. In the same year he started his Fragrance line, and in 1973 presented his first collection, which was subsequently made available in Europe, Japan and Australia.
He also made coats, suits and stately evening gowns.
Berhanyer represented Spain in 1967 at the International Fashion Week of Mexico. He was awarded the Spanish National Prize.
In 1973 he designed the uniforms of Iberia Airlines flight attendants. In 1982, he designed uniforms for the Football Association of Spain. Another of his uniform assignments was the dresses of the croupiers at the Casino, in Madrid.
In 1983 he also opened a boutique in Mexico.
Elio Berhanyer’s extensive career has included appearances on catwalks on all five continents, in Britain, America, South Africa, Japan, Chile, Israel and Australia, to name a few.
He first appeared on the Madrid Catwalk in 1994 and has been gracing Cibeles with his presence ever since.
In 2002, he was appointed head of a national exhibition paying tribute to Manuel Pertegaz at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid and was awarded the Fine Arts Gold Medal for Merit by HM King Juan Carlos I.
Berhanyer's handling of fabric and seaming gave a formal, somewhat austere line to some of his creations. He is also noted for his menswear.
Elio showed his Fall 2002 collection in Madrid.
Every season since 1994, Elio has been presenting his collections at the Pasarela Cibeles Fashion Show in Madrid.
A master of the art of couture, Berhanyer retains a consistent style in his work, with a preference for closely-tailored suits and spectacular faille evening gowns in gauze, velvet and brocade rose. His collections are aimed at women with a style of their own, enabling them to express and enhance their personality, whilst finding the perfect attire to cater for their professional, social and leisure needs.
Ava Gardner, Cyd Charisse and the Countess of Romanones.