William (Bill) Gibb

1943 - 1988

Influential fashion designer. Born in Fraserburgh (Aberdeenshire), the eldest of seven children of a farmer. He was raised by his maternal grandparents, who had a farm in nearby New Pitsligo, where his parents moved in 1946. He was educated at Fraserburgh Academy and trained at St. Martin's School of Art in London. Gibb gained a scholarship to work in the USA in 1967, at the height of the hippy era, which was to inspire his designs. He returned to the UK and formed his own company, where he fashioned haute couture that was to have a great influence on British late 20th century design. His work reached the front cover of Vogue magazine, were in demand with the rich and famous, including Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins and Bianca Jagger. The model Twiggy was a friend and received much press attention when she wore a cream wool dress by Gibb to the premiere of the film The Boyfriend in 1971. However, his clothes could take months to make and his company was therefore not a financial success.

He died tragically early from cancer in London and his ashes were buried in Fraserburgh. Examples of his clothing are on display at Fraserburgh Heritage Centre, and also form part of the collections of several other museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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