Biba, the iconic London fashion store, has been bought by British department store, House of Fraser. Biba’s revival is set to arrive for the Fall 2010 season and will be named Biba Collection for House of Fraser.
The original Biba was founded in 1964 by Barbara Hulanicki, a name you might recognize from her recent collaborations with Topshop. Biba’s appeal was built on a simple foundation; that the average girl in London could, for less than 10% of her weekly earnings, share the looks of popular icons of the time.
Biba’s popularity rose so quickly that soon there was a Biba look, described by Hulanicki as “fresh little foals with long legs, bright faces and round dolly eyes.” Her customers, mostly young women, were “postwar babies who had been deprived of nourishing protein in childhood and grew up into beautiful skinny people: a designer’s dream. It didn’t take much for them to look outstanding.” Hulanicki made a point of employing young women of the same demographic. Interestingly, Vogue editor Anna Wintour was at one point employed by Biba.
In 1975, after financial troubles, Biba was closed. The label has seen several resurrections, the most recent of which was in 2006. With House of Fraser’s backing, hopefully the iconic brand will be back for good.