• Scott Church


Updated: Sep 24, 2020

Iconic founder of BIBA Barbara Hulanicki has joined forces with digital fashion platform BRANDLAB to produce a number of wholesale fashion lines.

The first collection will be available to order from November and will only be available via the BRANDLAB platform, which uses augmented reality and 360 degree image technology to showcase fashion brands to retailers worldwide.

The fashion, retail and design legend still has an eye for what the future of fashion holds and is a firm believer in furthering the use of technology within the industry. The new brand will be called HULA by Barbara Hulanicki and will be available to department stores and independent retailers worldwide.

BRANDLAB is a full service end to end wholesale platform that takes care of creating imagery for wholesale collections, with a full time crew based in their 4000sq ft studios based in the UK.

After creating agency standard content, the company digitally markets the collections to their network of registered buyers and retailers which now stands at 15,000 worldwide, subsequently processing wholesale orders and integrating payments and credit control.

The company has recently launched a virtual reality showroom where buyers can tour brand collections online, selecting styles they like and adding to a wish list which is then easily turned into an order, saving time for brands and buyers alike.

The exclusive HULA collection combines elegant styles with simple lines and easy to wear pieces, designed for today’s fashion focused over 30s who refuse to compromise on style in the pursuit of comfort in every day fashion. The brand produces staple pieces such as Statement Wrap Dresses and Jersey Pants to an exciting range of everyday sneakers and accessories.

In a world of fast fashion and instant gratification Hula will offer a sustainable and more ethical alternative, using organic cottons and soft sustainable jersey fabrics allowing guilt free stylish indulgence to consumers.

Barbara Hulanicki has been the inspiration for many established and emerging designers, with New York based hotshot Tanya Taylor citing Barbara as the inspiration behind her SS20 collection, in a recent interview in Vogue.

In the 11-year reign of BIBA, the brand manifested itself as a huge movement within popular culture and was the predominant influence on fashion and culture in the British capital at that time. Twiggy, David Bowie and Yoko Ono were regulars, as was Freddie Mercury.

Most recently Barbara has been one of the most in-demand interior designers and fashion consultants from her home in Miami, designing twelve hotels in Miami and the Bahamas for a number of clients such as Chris Blackwell and Gloria Estefan. It was in her home town of Miami that she met the BRANDLAB founders, who were invited to Miami Fashion Week to talk at the prestigious Sustainability Summit.

Jennifer Drury, CEO of BRANDLAB said ‘we are hugely excited to enter into such an exciting partnership with someone as legendary as Barbara Hulanicki. The mix of such an iconic designer with our forward thinking technology is transformative for the industry and our agile technology will mean we can roll the collection out quickly to thousands of retailers all over the globe. We are all impressed by Barbara’s enthusiasm for technology within fashion and her ideas for the future.’

Dan O’Connell, co founder of a BRANDLAB, said - ‘Barbara’s belief in the use of technology within the industry is the kind of intuition about the future of fashion that led her to start BIBA as a mail order business in 1964. Barbara’s first ever pattern, modelled on a pink gingham dress popularized by Brigitte Bardot, was an instant hit, famously selling 11,000 units based off one picture in the Daily Mirror.

We are naturally thrilled to announce this joint venture which sees iconic fashion designs from Barbara coalesced with our unique technology.’

Barbara Hulanicki said ‘I am delighted to announce my collaboration with BRANDLAB as I find their use of technology a huge benefit for the industry.

I am a huge supporter of sustainability, and met Dan OConnell and Jennifer Drury when they talked alongside Katharine Hammnet at the Miami Sustainability Summit. By ensuring that retailers can only order my collection via the BRANDLAB platform, we are doing our bit for the carbon footprint as buyers will not have to travel to order my collections.

I have always been ahead of the game, and now combining my six decades of fashion success with BrandLab’s unique technology I will still be innovating for many years to come. I cannot wait to see the world head to toe in HULA!’

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