The brand that I am writing about today is BIBA – the Indian ethnic apparel brand for women. Derived from the Punjabi word Biba, used as an endearment for ‘young, pretty girl’, the brand symbolises the spirit of the young woman.
The brand has the same name as a British fashion store of the 1960s and 70s, but that is where the commonality ends.
If you passionately want to do something, then do it. Every woman has the potential and capability. ~ Meena Bindra
What started as the hobby venture of Meena Bindra, a housewife, in Delhi, is now a retail ethnic fashion brand with a pan India presence. Married to an army officer, Bindra (now in her 70s) had to relocate a number of times, but used her free time to pursue her hobby. She loved to experiment with various fabrics, cuts, colours and prints for designing and making printed salwar suits.
With a loan of Rs 8000, Meena Bindra had launched BIBA in 1988. Those were the days when women in India preferred stitched garment over readymade garments. The market, for Indian ethnic wear was highly fragmented. The preferences varied from one state to another, and no brand had established a national presence.
Shortly after she began, a small boutique in Mumbai started to retail some of Bindra’s creations. One thing led to the other and soon after Benzer, and retail chains such as Shopper’s Stop and Pantaloons started procuring and displaying BIBA collections.
With the motto
I don’t blend in. I stand out. I am Biba
Biba ensures that the wearer looks graceful in gorgeous colours and classy designs.
I have extensively used Biba dresses since the last 9 -10 years. With traditional ethnic prints and formal cuts, the dresses gel well both on festive occasions as well as in the office environment.
The dresses mostly have a tasteful combination of pastel and bright shades like lime green and fuchsia, due to which they appear bright without looking gaudy. Kurtis and tunics can easily be worn with trousers.
Most of the dresses are suitable for machine wash and easy to maintain while travelling. Georgette and chiffon dresses don’t require any ironing either and the colour of the dresses do not fade away even after many washes.
Anarkalis, lehengas and embroidered traditional suits with mirror work are good for occasional wear.
The premium collection ‘BIBA by Rohit Bal’ are suitable for parties and festive occasions and are sure to make a fashion statement.
BIBA pioneered Bollywood merchandising in India in 2004 with Na Tum Jano Na Hum, and went on to provide costumes for blockbuster movies such as Devdas, Hulchul, and Baghban.
The credit for BIBA’s expansion goes to Meena Bindra’s son Siddarth Bindra, who introduced the north Indian design sensibility to consumers across the country. With stores in over 90 exclusive stores in 40 cities, BIBA has established a pan India presence. It is also available in multi retail stores such as Shopper’s Stop, Lifestyle, and Pantaloons.
Following BIBA’s success, many other players such as Global Desi, Kashish, Haute Curry, etc have emerged in the Indian ethnic wear market.
As BIBA continues to grow at speedily, says Meena Bindra happily
‘I never imagined it when I started…Now, I feel we can grow to any height, even become a global brand.’
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