Last year, Spanish luxury brand Loewe collaborated with Paula’s Ibiza for the very first time. What they delivered was an eclectic Spring/Summer womenswear collection that embodied the spirit of nature and the carefree attitude of island life. The combination of Loewe’s elegance with the energy of Paula’s archival prints was such a success with fans, that the two decided to come together on another collection this year — this time extending their designs into menswear. In an effort to bring the beaches of Ibiza to Asia, the brands held an exclusive press preview at a secluded villa in Phuket, offering us an early look at what to expect.
For Anderson who’s from Ireland and has based his personal brand in London, his relationship to Ibiza and Paula’s traces back to his childhood.
Paula’s having originated from Ibiza, brought with it the spirit of the Balearic islands — harmony, freedom, eccentricity, and an appreciation for nature are all alive in the fabrics of the garments. It’s no wonder Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson felt compelled to collaborate. For Anderson who’s from Ireland and has based his personal brand in London, his relationship to Ibiza and Paula’s traces back to his childhood. His parents owned a home there, making the island a frequent getaway destination that would later contribute to his diverse design sensibilities.
While Anderson and Paula’s have Ibiza in common, they also share a particular affinity for nature. Armin Heinemann, Paula’s founder, got his start as an architect, and after a messy divorce in the ’70s, chose to move to Ibiza with his two children. He was in search of a more relaxed lifestyle where he could be closer to the natural world, which is why he chose to sustain his family off the land in a humble home without running water or electricity. Soon after, his love of the trees, flowers, and birds around him which he described as “free and full of life” inspired him to design clothes and later open his concept shop Paula’s, named after his daughter.
People would wait in line to get in, and Paula’s began attracting famous visitors like Valentino, Gaultier, Freddie Mercury, and even Queen Sofia of Spain.
The store quickly became a cult favorite amongst locals, and a tourist attraction for visitors. Newly joined partner at the time, Stuart Rudnick made customers feel like celebrities as he dressed them enthusiastically in new looks, and would take their photos in the streets. He brought exclusivity to the brand by placing a red cord barrier in front of the entrance to limit the number of visitors at a time and ensure their shopping experience was an intimate one. Eventually, people would wait in line to get in, and the store began attracting famous visitors like Valentino, Gaultier, Freddie Mercury, and even Queen Sofia of Spain.
Paula’s bohemian free spirit is the essence of Ibiza, and something nostalgic to Jonathan Anderson’s childhood. The two’s collaboration therefore seems natural as they celebrate coastal life in their latest collection. Hand-picked archival prints have been revived in a series of both men’s and women’s beach attire including sun dresses, peasant blouses, patchwork denim, fringed shorts, fisherman pants, sandals, bucket hats, and terry towel ponchos and hoodies. Eccentricities are in the details, with metallic sequins and wooden beads woven into the designs, complimenting the featured “Plumetis,” “Flags,” “Mermaids,” “Circus,” and “Birds” prints. For a closer look at the upcoming collection, take a look at the Phuket debut above, and the lookbook in-text by famed photographer Mario Sorrenti’s daughter, Gray Sorrenti.