Adlib’s history is closely linked to traditional clothing in Ibiza, making straw hats, esparto-soled shoes and the shawls worn by women, easily seen in the islands’ typical clothing, an important part of its inspiration.
Ibiza’s First Fashion Week was born in 1971 when the hippie movement arrived to the Pitiusan islands: a native style loved by all newcomers, pushing them to give added value to such delicate materials that were naturally rough and handmade. The island’s diversity made a melting pot for artists and visitors from all over the world and added local fashion and traditional Ibizan costumes to the mix. Garments were made lighter to better fit the new trends, which gave way to Adlib fashion. The name comes from one of the creators, José Colomar, who had been Vice-President of Tourism Development in Ibiza as a department that, along with the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, promoted and reinforced a brand created under the Latin word “Ad libitum”, which means “freedom”.
The Yugoslav “princess”, Smilja Mihailovitch, played an important role as the international ambassador of this new fashion trend. Smilja found in Ibiza women to be free, of natural beauty, carefree and real. This inspired local Ibizan designers, as well as from different parts of Europe, to make light pieces of clothing, in pure white, hand-embroided and with a certain flow to highlight a woman’s body.
Without knowing it, Ibizan fashion had become an alternative to styles that been forced on people and to the dictatorship of certain clothing that ruled the industry at the time. It was the same spirit that had won over thousands of young people by defeating the traditional and serious designers that ruled the industry with new, fresh and personal touches. Such a breakthrough also entailed the creation of a great amount of jobs for local women, who saw a boom of the industry along with the new trend and allowed them, for the first time, to become economically independent and have their own financial resources.
The fresh and original touches of the garments are still present, but are updated each year by the designers that bring the runways to life. After more than 45 years, Adlib’s runway keeps surprising locals, tourists and foreigners every summer with its combination of a hippie style, attention to the body’s natural shapes, comfort, and its basic essence and, most importantly, its ability to create, over time and dedication, a timeless fashion style based on the idea of “dressing however you want, but in style”.