Art for the Biba newspaper (1973)

Kasia Charko is a British-born Canadian illustrator and graphic artist. She was born in Worcester, England, and in 1968 attended Leicester College of Art taking a three year course in graphic design. She became a freelance artist when moving to London, working mainly in fashion drawing for magazines like Petticoat, Woman and Fashion Forecast. She also illustrated for Radio Times magazine and various advertising agencies.

By the early 1970s she was affiliated with the design studio of Tim Whitmore and Steve Thomas. The team had just gotten the assignment to make the designs for the new Big Biba shop, Barbara Hulanicki's leading hip and trendy department store in the Kensington district of London. Charko was brought along as an illustrator, as were Mick Partlett and Chris Angell. Charko made many Art Deco-styled illustrations for the shop, including the logos or signs for each department. She was also largely responsible for the artwork in the Biba newspaper, which appeared around the opening in September 1973. Besides many pinups, the paper also included a comic strip called 'Sam and Alice' about the children's department.

The shop already closed its doors in 1975, but has remained a cultural icon of trendy London. The history and designs have been preserved in books like 'The Biba Experience' (2007) by Alwyn. W. Turner, and 'Welcome to Big Biba' (2011) by Steve Thomas and Alwyn. W. Turner.

Charko and her partner Mick Partlett then moved to Canada, where she works as a children's book illustrator.

Series and books by Kasia Charko you can order today:


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