Ibiza has always had a reputation as a sartorial hub. In the 60s, when the free-spirited globetrotters began to arrive, it revolved around a particular kind of barefoot bohemia – less is more, in the hippie sort of sense. Through the 70s and 80s, a more glamorous breed of damsel landed on the island’s shores, a precursor to rave culture, when fashion took a smaller, shinier, and more fluoro-inspired form. These days, Ibiza fashion is an amalgamation of all those decades, meaning there’s now something to be found for every style inclination – you can shop its famous array of boutiques safe in the knowledge that you won’t regret your purchase once you’re back on home soil.
For a lesson in quintessential island style, the first stop should be Ibiza town, where a slew of Ibiza’s foremost designers exhibit their wares. Head first to the legendary Charo Ruiz, beneath the legendary Montesol hotel, where you’ll find an array of clothing inspired by the Ad Lib movement – what some consider to be the definitive Ibiza look. Think flowing white cotton dresses, straw hats and espadrilles, all handmade with authenticity. Today the trend has had a modern facelift, but embroidered dresses, blouses and kaftans in an array of natural materials still form the foundation of the brand. A must-have for any summer holiday in the Mediterranean.
Then there’s the Beatrice San Francisco store, located on Vara de Rey in the heart of Ibiza town. With a nod to the island’s reputation for freedom, each BSF collection is inspired by nature and Ibiza’s unmistakeable bohemian spirit. Fabrics are comfortable, breathable and yet still sexy, with everything from dresses to shirts to catsuits all coming in organic cotton and shades of terracotta, turquoise and taupe – a reflection of the island’s naturally occurring colours. The casual nature of the pieces means they can either be dressed up or down, making them the ideal outfit choice to go from beach to club.
For the ultimate hippie shopping experience, you’ll need to head north – naturally – for World Family Ibiza in San Juan, a town just before the spiritual coastal haven of Benirras. The lovechild of world wandering nomads Alok and Merel, who first set foot on Ibiza back in the 90s, this family run business is a vibrant affair, with collections coming in a range of rainbow-inspired shades. They’re perhaps most famous for their accessories, with brightly-coloured bags adorned with pom poms and tassels proving to be the biggest hit both on island and beyond.
Another designer inspired by travel is Victoria Durrer-Gasse, co-founder and designer at La Galeria Elefante, just outside the village of Santa Gertrudis. This boutique is like stepping into the dress-up closet of the world’s most colourful, creative and sparkling characters. Having hotfooted it across the globe, Victoria draws on local fashion for her designs, resulting in fabulous one-off pieces that look just as great slung over shoulders as on the rack. From intricate handmade jackets to customised saris and her coveted silk, hand-dyed bikinis, you’ll find it hard to leave here empty-handed.
For fine jewellery, look no further than Natasha Collis, who designs in her studio in the village of San Miguel. Inspired by the island’s magnetic light, Natasha works with 18-carat gold nuggets, which she meticulously shapes by hand, allowing each one to melt into its own unique shape. The nuggest are then paired with precious stones like diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, and no two pieces are ever the same, which makes them a fabulous collector’s item, and the icing on the cake of any ensemble. More overtly statement pieces can be found back in Ibiza town at Majoral, where alongside his son, Formentera-based jeweller Enric Majoral creates elegant pieces that echo the spirit of the Mediterranean, using silver, gold and gemstones to add that all-important glitz.
Complete your whistle-stop sartorial tour of the island in the La Marina and Dalt Vila districts – where Ibiza’s bohemian style still lives on through boutiques like BB’s Temple – the flagship store by Italian designer Barbara Bonner, whose brand was born in Ibiza. Renowned for her luxe accessories with a spirited, rock-n’roll twist, this season she has added a hand-picked selection of local designers and accessories to the mix. Sassy upcycled vintage pieces and disco-inspired jewellery are ideal for the Ibiza party girl, and you can’t leave the boutique without a selfie in Queen BB’s peacock authentic 70s Emanuelle peacock chair, and also by the hand-painted mermaid on the boutique wall (#sirenagram).
Finally, head up the ancient drawbridge and make a beeline for Annie’s, where a collection of the island’s most lusted after vintage and unique eye-popping collections has been assembled by the island’s numero uno fashionista herself – yes, Annie. This is woman whose fashion savvy and A-list book of connections knows no bounds, and yet her hands-on approach to styling and shopping (sound-tracked by awesome 70s playlists) makes her the BFF of every girl who walks through the door. A shopping trip you’ll never forget.