Vintage 1960s Biba Catalogues

I’m currently in the middle of buying a new house with the hope of moving some time in July and as a result I am having to pack everything up. This is a bigger job than it normally would be as I am having to downsize due to moving to a more expensive area and, therefore, I have to get rid of so much stuff. With this in mind, I am going through everything, being utterly ruthless, before finally packing up what I’m taking with me.

My job for Sunday afternoon was to go through everything that was in the eaves of my attic room and, as you can see from the photo below, this was a huge task. I just stood there for at least 10 minutes wondering where the hell I was going to start!


When I did finally get started I began to find things I’d completely forgotten I had, including these three beautiful Biba catalogues from the late 1960s. I bought them from an antiques shop in Burford, Oxfordshire. Each one was priced £6 but, if I remember correctly, I paid £15 for all three.

1960s Biba Catalogue

Biba, a truly unique fashion brand famous during the 1960s and 1970s, was started by Polish-born designer Barbara Hulanicki. Initially it was a humble mail order business advertising in the national newspapers. Their initial success came about from an advertisement placed in The Daily Mirror in May 1964 for a pink gingham dress, similar to one worn by actress Brigitte Bardot, which accumulated a total of 17,000 orders. This then allowed them to open their first bricks and mortar shop in Abingdon Road, Kensington just four months later.

1960s Biba Catalogue

Barbara Hulanicki, with the help of her husband, Stephen Fitz-Simon, built up a brand that became instantly recognisable with a heady mix of Art Nouveau and modern day Rock and Roll. Although the brand ultimately became a department store selling everything from toys to food and from books to clothes, it was the women’s wear range that has lasted to show us the classic Biba look. Their demographic were skinny teenage and early 20s women and the style was ethereal with tight sleeves, maxi skirts and oversized accessories, a complete opposite to the Mary Quant mod mini skirts.

1960s Biba Catalogue

The mail order catalogues were first put into production in 1968 which dates my three to between 1968 and 1971 as the prices are still in the old UK pound, shilling and pence currency which was decimalised in February 1971.

1960s Biba Catalogue

The front covers just have the classic Biba logo on them, but I particularly like the one that fills the whole page. The background colour is used throughout the catalogue with each image being overlaid with the same hue of terracotta, dark green or brown. The two with the small logo on the front have three double page spreads and two triple page spreads. The other has just one double page spread and two triple pages spreads which makes me believe this is the oldest one of the three.

1960s Biba Catalogue

I’ve photographed two spreads from each catalogue which I think show the best outfits and you can click on them to see an enlarged version. The very last one, on the far right, makes me think of Princess Lea!

1960s Biba Catalogue

I would love to own a genuine piece of Biba from the 1960s, particularly one of the maxi dresses as they are just so classic of the era. Do you own any Biba vintage? I’d love to know where you found it.

1960s Biba Catalogue


Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.


  1. I have some original catalogues. I remember ordering the outift pictured above (the one with the dog) but I sent it back as it didn’t fit. I do still have a 1960s linen waistcoat. It was part of a skirt suit but unfortunately the skirt wore out I loved it so much! The items arrived in beautiful black boxes. So sad that I didn’t keep those too!

    • Oh wow! I would’ve loved to have seen the boxes. I’m rather jealous 🙂

  2. I remember wearing a cotton suit with polka dots and large collar and cuffs. (I’ve seen a photo of it on the internet but wonder if it’s in your catalogue?!) I didn’t remember going to a shop to buy it and now you have reminded me that it was mail order. Fascinating. PS Did you keep the catalogues?!

    • I’ve just had a look through them but the only polka dot outfit is the third picture in the post. Shame, it would’ve been lovely to see which one it was. Yes, I kept them. There’s no way I’d get rid of these!

  3. I have the brown cataloge. Like yours. Would it be worth anything?

    • Not a great deal, about £20 – £25, although it would be more if you had the original envelope and order form with it.

    • Am looking to purchase a 60s BIBA catalogue if you might sell it. Thanks.

      • Thanks for the interest but I’m afraid they’re not for sale.

      • Hello
        I am thinking of selling, but may send all five to Auction. I’m currently awaiting an estimate from an Auction house as to what they might be worth along with an original outfit that I bought in the Biba store in the 1960s.

        • I am interested in purchasing 60s BIBA catalogues and already have two in my collection.

  4. I have an original piece of clothing which I bought in the 1960s. It’s a black satin full length evening coat with long sleeves and open at the front from the waist down. I used to wear a green satin maxi skirt underneath it. I also have five of the original catalogues, some with order form.

    • Oh wow, an original Biba! It sounds amazing, you should definitely keep hold of that.

      • Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit me anymore, so it might go to auction one day with the catalogues.

    • I am most interested in the 60s catalogues. Thanks.

  5. I too had these catalogues sent through the post. I didn’t save any of them. I was on a very tight budget back then but I have a memory of a madras check dress that I always regret not being able to afford.
    If anyone has a picture from the catalogue of this dress, I would love to see it.
    I did buy a choker that had various brooch accessories to clip onto it. I think I still have just one of the accessories, a green brooch.

    • Thanks Wendy! I so rarely see catalogues like this, so would be interested in seeing the one you had too.

  6. If I have time, I will look for the catalogues, and see if I can find the madras check dress.

    • Don’t suppose you found the madras check dress did you? Xx

  7. Hi Vintage gal I have an original biba catalogue from 1965. It has black and white lovely fashion drawings. I have the envelope it was sent in so I know the date.

  8. Hi Vintage Gal, we’ve just come across a full set of original Biba cataloges – a black one, a dark brown one, a light brown one and a blue one (with order form) and a burgundy one. Found them in my parent’s lock up and have no idea how much they are worth. Can you help as am looking to sell them.

  9. I have 5 vintage Biba catalogues found in my parent’s lock up – a black one, blue one (with order form), a dark brown one and a light brown one and a burgundy one. Any idea how much they are worth am hoping to sell them. Many thanks

    • Hi, I’m afraid they’re not worth all that much, £7 – £8 each at the most. Vintage ephemera such as this very much depends on interest and age. The things that are worth money these days are anything from the 1940s or before. Items from the 60 and 70s just aren’t that popular and are much easier to come by, hence the lower value.

  10. Just saw “Bohemian Rhapsody” and a scene set in Biba brought back (yet again) Biba memories. I’m American and was living and working in New York City at the time. We would visit London often—it was quick and cheap—and bring back tons of stuff from Biba. I remembering going from the plane directly to the Kensington Church Street store. I brought back an armful of soft cloche hats for my co-workers in those dreamy colors of mauve, taupe, old rose, mushroom, etc.

    I remember a stiff coated rubber mackintosh with a stand-up collar that I loved despite sweating in it, a hunter green jersey jumpsuit that I also loved despite its inconvenience, various colored jersey tops—drawstring neck and bell sleeves. There was a lipstick too, “Mahogany”. I’m still trying to replicate it.

    A British friend also sent the catalogs to me in New York and would fill my order, sending things to the States. I still have two catalogs, pencil marks showing each price laboriously transcribed into U.S, dollars. I agonized for days over what to order. And then much of it didn’t fit.

    At one point a fancy New York department store, Bergdorf Goodman, started a Biba department, but the prices were way over my head. That tube of lipstick would set me back $10, the equivalent of $50 today!

  11. Hi. I remember buying a dress from the Biba catalogue described as being Oyster Satin with shepherdess sleeves. It was beautiful. I wore it till it almost fell to pieces. My sister and I would go to Biba in Kensingston Church Street and then in the High Street. The current Biba label is nothing like the individual look it had originally and was not especially expensive either. Thank you for showing your catalogues – they bring back many memories.

  12. I have a dark red maxi needlecord dress that I only wore once but wouldn’t ever give away because it brings back so many memories. As a fashion student at Kingston I loved Biba and treasured a tweed maxi coat. The atmosphere of the Biba stores has never been recreated.

    • I would’ve loved to experience one of their stores in person, they look so fun!

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