Born in Poland, but raised in England, Barbara Hulanicki OBE RDI is deservedly recognised now as a British fashion icon, having just been awarded an OBE for Services to Fashion in the 2012 Queen’s New Year Honors. Barbara began her career in fashion in the early 1960’s working as a freelance fashion illustrator covering all the important fashion collections for the major publications of the day, including Women’s Wear Daily, British Vogue, The Times, The Observer and The Sunday Times. In 1964 she founded, with her late husband, Stephen Fitz-Simon, the boutique Biba, beginning as a small mail-order business featured in the fashion columns of newspapers such as the Daily Mirror.


In the late eighties Chris Blackwell commissioned Barbara to design the interiors for his Island Outpost company, a group of boutique hotels based in Miami Beach and the Caribbean. As Design Director at Island Outpost Barbara worked with Chris for over twenty years creating unique and stylish interiors.


Today, Barbara continues to create her innovative designs as a retail & design consultant to a number of US and UK major fashion and home ware retailers, supplying exclusive designs to each company. Among these is Top Shop where she launched a capsule collection in 2008 and collections ‘Barbara Hulanicki George at Asda’, which continues to be successful today, the first collection having launched in November 2010 and already extended well into 2013. Her most recent collaborations are with Homesense / TK Maxx where she has designed an exciting and exclusive cushion collection. Disney Europe, for whom she has in her unique style of illustration drawn the Disney characters of Maleficent and Diablo, available on wallpaper, which launched in late 2011 through Graham and Brown. Barbara also designed exclusive fireplaces for Chesney Ltd., which launched late 2012. She continues to design wallpapers and illustrations for Graham and Brown who have retained her since 2003. Through Graham & Brown, Barbara’s wallpaper is now available in the UK at Next and in the USA at Target and her new paint collection launched in the UK in 2010 at ‘100% Design London’, the UK’s leading contemporary interiors event connecting the worlds of architecture and design.