Biba appears to be rapidly becoming the Sugababes of the fashion world. It’s got nothing to do with the original concept, but yet here it is, operating under the same name. Reports this week allege that House of Fraser has bought the 60s cult label and its archives, and will reintroduce the line this autumn.
House of Fraser? I can’t think of a brand less suited to Biba – a label that was supposed to cheap, cheerful, and most significantly, young. I have no issue with HoF – it’s just doesn’t fit with Biba, in my mind. The people I know that love HoF – and there are many of them – are my friends who like classic, dare I say it, sophisticated clothes. Not fun, young, on-trend shoppers.
According to HoF Executive Director Stephanie Chen, “We will be making it a lot more appropriate for today, and picking up an essence of Biba with flamboyant, sexy prints in silks, knits and dark denims with soft washes.” An essence of Biba? Hmm. I’ll hold judgment until I’ve seen it, but that word ‘essence’ unnerves me.
Lest we forget, Biba was founded by Barbara Hulanicki in 1964. It was revived by Bella Freud in 2006, but lasted just two years, before falling into administration.
Barbara has had nothing to do with the brand since 1975.