One of my biggest retail obsession is Biba. I truly don’t think there has been such a distinct lifestyle brand before or after they folded in 1975. I love how Biba merged the 70’s aesthetic with retro influences from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and used great photographers like Sarah Moon and David Bailey to capture the feel. But what I’m even more obsessed with is the sheer opulent madness that their last and biggest department store was. What started 10 years earlier as a modest mail order company exploded into a super lavish seven floor fantasy, inspired by art deco and vintage film sets, with a posh restaurant and a roof top garden. Add to that an insane branding, where everything from baked beans to make-up bore the iconic Biba logo. Such megalomania fairly ends up well and only after a year the Big Biba store closed.
The book The Biba Experience captures all that and much more, which is why I keep returning to it. Plus it is almost as lavish as I imagine the store was – this is truly a coffee table tome.