We have been seeing posts in about a zillion blogs over the past few days previewing a "Biba for Topshop" collection by Barbara Hulanicki that will debut at the store on April 28th.
Well they're all half right.
Topshop is launching a collection by Hulanicki, but Biba has nothing to do with it.
The designer, who was the creative force behind the influential London store of the 1960's and '70s tells WWD that she specifically designed the line NOT to look like Biba, a company she co-founded, but left in the mid '70s.
The Biba trademark is now owned by a group that has no connection to Hulanicki (who now works mostly in interior design), and after a failed relaunch in recent years as a designer collection designed by Bella Freud, the brand is now again dormant, as far as we can tell.
If you plan to hit Topshop next week, don't look for a swinging sixties or decadent seventies collection. Aside from a pair of palazzo pants with a flowing tunic, the line looks charming but not especially retro at all, featuring prints made from Hulanicki's distinctive fashion sketches. You can get a preview here and here.
Of course, if you are a Hulanicki fan, (and you even know who she is or are old enough to remember Biba firsthand which would put you some where in your late forties.) you would know that she had a different t-shirt collection for Bebe (yes, a mere two vowels away) a few months ago that hit the market with little fanfare. There are pieces still available here.
Perhaps the folks at Bebe could use a little PR help from Topshop, no?
Hulanicki's New Topshop Gig (WWD Fashion Scoops)
Barbara Hulanicki for Topshop launching April 28th (Official Site)
Barbara Hulanicki for Bebe (Official Site)
Biba (Official Site)