Last night at the University of Brighton we had the good fortune to see the Beyond Biba film and be part of a conversation between Molly Parkin and Barbara Hulanicki.
What a great night - the two friends were nostalgically remembering their youth and the wonderfully creative times of the changing fashion world of the 1960's.
Its a great shame that the licensing deal that Barbara signed means that investors own the brand name. Biba re-surfaces now and again with new companies buying the rights to use the brand name. A lady in the audience had designed a dress for Biba two years ago when the brand was relaunched, however the brand didn't survive without its heritage and the integrity of Barbara Hulanicki's vision and innovation.
Its hard to divorce a brand name from the intangible brand values associated with the original entrepreneur. Biba was about a lifestyle concept - a new way of life for young people. The brand design was dark, moody and evoked an atmosphere of the bordello. Barbara Hulanicki's illustrations, clothing designs, interior design and visual merchandising made the Biba brand a unique iconic experience.