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Biba's Barbara Hulanicki remembers Bowie and Jagger visits

Designer Barbara Hulanicki had an undressed Brigitte Bardot once running around her London store Biba.

Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki added sofas to her famous store so David Bowie and Mick Jagger had somewhere to sit.

The Polish designer was at the forefront of ‘60s and ‘70s fashion, and her London store Biba became a magnet for the fashionable and famous. The likes of David and Mick regularly shopped there, and also just hang out.

“Once the boys – Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury – became regular visitors, we put in all the sofas so they’d have somewhere to sit,” Barbara recalled with a smile to Britain’s Hello! magazine.

Hollywood stars also couldn’t resist the allure of Biba, which became such a phenomenon that Barbara had to open a seven-floor department store.

“I’ll never forget a visit from Brigitte Bardot. It was hilarious. She came with her then husband Gunter Sachs, stripped off all her clothes and ran up and down the showroom looking at the latest range while he tried to cover her up,” she laughed.

Royalty also visited, with Britain's Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth II’s daughter, browsing the aisles when the store was closed especially for her. However Barbara doesn’t think she bought anything, as in those days the royals didn’t wear high street clothes.

Original supermodel Twiggy was a regular too.

“She was still at school and worked in hairdressers on Saturdays but she was always in the shop,” Barbara said. “She was tiny, with a beautiful face that reminded me of Greta Garbo. Later on in her career we used to make her costumes for the stage and we have been close friends ever since.

“Now she has a fashion range of her own. Only a few weeks ago we were sitting together talking about fashion. We started laughing because, five decades down the line, we were having a similar conversation to the ones we had all those years ago.”

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