It’s amazing what can be achieved over lunch. On Friday 2 May 2014 I was a guest at the Cosmetic Executive Women CEW(UK) 2014 Beauty Awards hosted at London’s Hilton Hotel, Park Lane. I joined 700 beauty industry insiders in a magnificent celebratory lunch.


When I received my invitation, I tweeted that the invitation was a special limited edition drawing by Barbara Hulanicki OBE, the founder and icon of BIBA. I secretly wondered and hoped that Barbara would be at the lunch particularly as the first Semple book published in December 2010 had a story about Harriet Cass, BBC Radio broadcaster and her BIBA skirt. I decided to take a copy of the book to the lunch just in case.

As the Awards ceremony began and the excitable chatter quietened I realised that Barbara was on the next table. On stage she opened the event and spoke modestly about her upbringing and what BIBA had achieved. It was at that point that I decided to approach her.

Barbara welcomed me like a friend and as I showed her our Semple book she expressed sheer delight. We found that we had lots in common, so much so that I invited her to a Semple Secrets event in the Autumn. Barbara loved the book that I gave her and she agreed to be a Semple guest!

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