Houston, eh? Indeed, the Bayou City is now home to BIDA, the minimalist streetwear brand founded this summer in Calgary, Alberta by Bianca Dabney. The self-taught designer, a native of our friendly neighbor to the north, recently relocated to the Katy area, and though the move was a result of her boyfriend’s job transfer, Dabney says it was also a blessing to grow her brand.
“There’s so much opportunity down here, especially compared to Canada,” she told Houstonia. “I really want BIDA to work toward becoming a lifestyle brand more than just a clothing brand.”
That’s a few years down the line, though, as BIDA is still in its infancy—the online-only brand will celebrate four months on Saturday. Dabney has already begun to take advantage of Houston retail’s rich pop-up culture—she brought BIDA to Houstonia’s Woman Up! earlier this fall while she still lived in Canada—and one day hopes to open brick-and-mortar stores that function more as wellness centers.
That’s in line with her brand’s philosophy, which prioritizes ethical sustainability through recycled fabrics, eco-friendly production, and small-batch collections. “A minimalistic lifestyle is really what BIDA is all about,” Dabney says. “That sort of encompasses more wholesome living and really focusing your energy on a healthier lifestyle—living within your means, not going and buying all these fast fashion items but really wearing clothes that you can wear from day to night, day after day.”
It follows, then, that BIDA’s designs are mainly versatile basics in neutral colors, like cotton-blend joggers or a double-lined bodysuit. Everything can be dressed up or down, layered with other elements of an outfit or worn alone. Dabney plans to release only two collections a year—spring/summer and fall/winter—to promote “using your clothes as much as you can,” she says. “You won’t really see too much in between.”
Dabney was inspired by a two-month backpacking trip through Southeast Asia during college. It was there, in places like Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, that she was struck by the dichotomy: “You literally have to live off of 10 articles of clothing, maybe,” she says, yet she saw massive amounts of garbage—including clothes—in the streets. “What’s all this waste for?” she wondered. “That made me wants to work toward living a more minimalistic lifestyle.”
After graduating with a communications degree, Dabney struggled to settle on a career path. “I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to own a clothing boutique,” she says, and, after years of modeling both in Canada and the U.S., she fell in love with fashion and “the ins and outs of the industry.” She started sketching, and BIDA was born.
“A lot of my inspiration actually comes from architecture,” she says. “I’m fascinated by minimalist architecture, the whole geometric side of it—how everything has its place, it’s clean, it’s structured, it has a purpose. I really believe clothes have those same values as well.”
BIDA designs are manufactured in a Bali at a sustainable factory owned by two Australian women. They use low-power, energy-efficient sewing machines; make use of all clothing scraps; and ship product in plant-based bags—all in line with Dabney’s own ethos.
To that end, she wants to do more, such as incorporating more sustainable, organic fabrics like recycled polyester. “I will move toward that in the future, but it’s all about baby steps,” Dabney says. “It’s not an about an all-or-nothing effect—you should take steps toward your goal, and that’s how change will actually happen.”
Right now, she’s working on her next collection, including seasonal pieces in rayon satin suitable for light, breezy summertime wear—a must in Houston.
“I’m just honestly so, so excited,” Dabney says. “I really think that Houston is going to fall in love with BIDA.”