The Biba Upgrade

Biba was an iconic clothing store founded by Barbara Hulanicki. It started as a small mail order business in the swinging 60’s which later turned into a 7 story building often referred to as ‘Big Biba’, each floor having its own department and logo. Biba wasn’t just about the clothes but about the experience. People from different social rankings selected from the store's racks, even the likes of Briggitte Bardot, Cher, Yoko Ono queued and tried on clothes like every other girl at the store.The clothes where hung on coat stands and where sold at very affordable prices but still had that chic essence often created with a palette of dark colours which Hulanicki described as “looking like a funeral”, it might interest you to know that “the pope of fashion” her self Anna Wintour once worked at the Biba store as a young fashionista. Simply put it was every girls dream store. If we were in the 60’s I certainly would have been a Biba girl.What really interests me about Biba is the fact that Hulanicki embraced the importance of branding and differentiation. Biba was unique it was not an imitation of your regular high street store so it had no limitation or so it appeared.One of the main problems with high street stores and boutiques today is the lack of originality and individuality, that makes shopping boring. I think the high street will be a better place if merchandisers pay more attention to being distinct rather than being trendy alone.In the video Hulanicki talks about the Biba experience and the fabulous artistic things she did after it closed down.

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