The story of Moda Adlib has its roots in the traditional garments of Ibiza’s local population. Hence, straw hats, espadrilles and women’s shawls all stake claims to the style’s inspiration.
In 1971, the first Ibiza Fashion Week was the backdrop against which droves of recently-arrived hippies, channeling the inherent delicacy of naturally coarse artisan materials, went wild for traditional island wear. The multiculturalism of an island that teemed with artists and globetrotting visitors filtered into homegrown fashion and traditional island apparel, the latter becoming ever lighter and shapeshifting to absorb newly emerging trends…eventually creating a space for Moda Adlib. The name was coined by one of the firm’s original architects, José Colomar, the hitherto next-in-command of Ibiza’s tourism promotor, Fomento del Turismo. Backed by the local chamber of commerce, the group helped support and consolidate a brand name borne of the Latin adage “ad libitum,” meaning “freely”.
Yugoslavian “princess” Smilja Mihailovitch was instrumental as the nascent style’s global ambassador. In Ibiza, Smilja found the spirit of a free woman, whose beauty was not only natural but also fresh and authentic, lighting the way for Earth-minded designers from Ibiza and across Europe as they moved toward more lightweight, white and hand-embroidered pieces whose cuts allowed enough movement to showcase the female form.
Ibiza style suddenly became the unwitting alternative to received fashion and the tyranny of the trends flooding the erstwhile industry. Somehow newer, fresher and more personal than the traditional, somber styles of the day, it conquered the hearts of countless youth. Its arrival on the scene meant scores of new jobs for local females, women who found in the booming industry their first chance at financial independence.
The line continues to thrive today thanks to that same freshness and originality, though the looks pitched by the Pasarela’s pioneering designers are constantly changing. For more than 45 summers, Pasarela Adlib has won over locals, tourists and travellers from all corners of the globe with its fusion of hippie chic, its respect for natural curves and—crucially—its wearability. The whole lot is distilled into one timeless style under the banner “wear what you want, but do it with style”.