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HoF sets date for iconic Biba rebirth

House of Fraser is set to relaunch British brand Biba in September in what the department store chain has hailed as the biggest fashion launch in its history.

Biba, the iconic brand founded by Barbara Hulanicki in 1964 and acquired by House of Fraser in November, will debut on September 8 in 31 stores and online. Ten of the stores will feature specialist Biba boutiques and a dedicated website called Mybiba.com will go live.

Key pieces include a leopard-print maxi coat, tunic dresses and limited-edition Biba Boutique maxi dresses as well as a denim collection. Prices range from £75 for blouses to £390 for coats. The department store has signed model Daisy Lowe as the face of Biba for its first season.

The launch is the latest own-brand push by the retailer, which is expected to report a 7% hike in like-for-like sales in the first half to July.

Director for womenswear and accessories Stephanie Chen told Drapers Biba had been positioned as “aspirational but accessible” and “driven by attitude, not by age”.

She said: “We wanted the first collection to be distinctive, decadent, flamboyant and unique. Although it’s not a retro collection, we drew on the heritage of Biba and its archives to ensure that we remained true to the brand’s ethos. New Biba embraces the mood of the original brand and is made relevant for today’s market.”

She added that Biba customers wanted “great details, fabrics and styling” and the retailer was targeting “style-conscious mothers and daughters shopping simultaneously”.

Separately, John Lewis is to partner with designers to create limited-edition pieces for the reopening of its revamped womenswear department in its London Oxford Street store, also on September 8. Osman Yousefzada will design a dress, Terry de Havilland a range of footwear and Alex Monroe a necklace.

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