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  • Place of origin:

    London (printed)

  • Date:

    1969 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    McConnell, John, born 1939 (graphic designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed card

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Claire Wilcox

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Barbara Hulanicki opened her first Biba store in an old chemist's store on the Abingdon Road in 1964. Her last, and most ambitious, enterprise was to take over Derry & Tom's department store on the High Street in 1973.

What linked all the Biba stores was Hulanicki's skill in creating environments that complimented the romantic, sensual appeal of her clothing. The atmosphere was unique, with loud music, stylish staff, dimly lit period interiors and chaotic changing rooms. The clothes were also good value, so young working women could shop alongside models, singers and TV personalities.

Hulanicki received many letters from customers from outside London who wanted to buy by post. In her autobiography 'From A to Biba' (1983) she recalled that she 'could not wait to do our first catalogue. For the first time I could actually realize on paper what the perfect Biba dolly should look like'. Only six editions were produced, between April 1968 and the summer of 1969.

Through a combination of mail order, distinctive branding and an understanding of the customer's dreams, Biba set a template for the 'lifestyle' approach that would go on to support British retail successes in the 1980s and '90s.

Physical description

Biba mail order catalogue, printed card. With a black cover and Biba logo printed in gold. Ten pages including two extended folds.

Place of Origin

London (printed)


1969 (printed)


McConnell, John, born 1939 (graphic designer)

Materials and Techniques

Printed card


Height: 349 mm, Width: 178 mm

Descriptive line

Biba mail order catalogue, printed card, London, 1969

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Catherine Ross, 'Biba, Black Dwarf, Black Magic Women: the mail-order catalogues and youth culture in the late 1960s' in Laing Art Gallery, Biba: The Look. The Lifestyle. The Label Newcastle: Tyne and Wear Museums, 1993, pp12-15
Laing Art Gallery, Biba: The Look. The Lifestyle. The Label Newcastle: Tyne and Wear Museums, 1993






Advertising; Clothing; Fashion; Ephemera


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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