Biba & Beyond exhibition, Barbara Hulanicki visited the former site of Brighton’s first and only Biba shop on Queens Road.

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Barbara Hulanicki visits Brighton Biba

17 July 2012 No Comment

While filming for a documentary to help promote the up-coming Biba & Beyond exhibition, Barbara Hulanicki visited the former site of Brighton’s first and only Biba shop on Queens Road. The Biba shop was opened in 1965 and closed just over a year later when stock started to go missing and it came to light that the manageress was a gangster’s moll who kept somewhat interesting company…

Barbara Hulanicki visits FAIR, Brighton - photo by Emma Jeffery

The premises is now home to ethical clothing and accessory shop FAIR, and owner Siobhan Wilson and staff were “thrilled” to meet the fashion legend: “To meet someone with Barbara’s experience, creativity and success was very exciting”, Siobhan says.

Barbara Hulanicki visits FAIR, Brighton - photo by Emma Jeffery

“We’ve heard so many stories about the original shop from former customers”, she continues. “Barbara said it was dark and full of hat stands, with plenty of seating for boyfriends! She referred to the Biba shop as having so much energy and went on to say that FAIR also had energy, which I took as a huge compliment.”

Barbara Hulanicki visits FAIR, Brighton - photo by Emma Jeffery

Siobhan, who develops her own product as well as selling brands such as People Tree, asked Barbara for advice on getting the balance right between creative output and the day-to-day running of a shop: “She said that her husband Fitz ran the business so that she could focus on her design work.”

Biba & Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki will run from 22 September 2012 to 14 April 2013 at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

Vintage Brighton editor Jo-ann was given the dream job of interviewing Barbara for the Visit Brighton documentary, which means that VB readers will be among the first to see the video – watch this space!

All images by Emma Jeffery

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