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Twiggy on Barbara Hulanicki

Twiggy reveals how BIBA transformed a generation of style

Barbara Hulanicki: BIBA

Barbara Hulanicki was the progressive founder of iconic clothes store BIBA. She is credited as the designer to first bring affordable and yet directional fashion to the masses. Surrounded by the glamour of her mother and aunt’s Parisian couture as a child, she felt guilt-ridden that others weren’t able to afford the same luxurious clothes and set about changing this trend by opening BIBA.

Hulanicki currently lives in Miami where she has a successful interior design business for hotels and is set to launch a fashion and home range in India.

Key moments

  • Born in 1936 in Warsaw, Poland
  • Studied at Brighton Art College
  • 1955 won a London Evening Standard competition for beachwear
  • 1964 After selling first designs through mail order fashion sections in newspapers, she opened her first shop in Kensington with late husband Stephen Fitz-Simon
  • 1976 Biba finally closed its doors
  • Hulanicki continued to design for Fiorucci and Cacharel
  • 1980-1992 Designed a successful line of children’s wear, Minirock, licensed to the Japanese market
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