EIVISSA: The legendary Paula’s Boutique
“Paula’s Boutique” is located on Calle de la Virgen in Eivissa, the capital of Ibiza. The iconic boutique, that shaped late 60’s and 70’s fashion still exists to this day in cooperation with the Spanish fashion brand Loewe.
Firstly opened in 1972 by German architect Armin Heinemann, Paula’s soon became the hotspot for the famous creatives of the seventies shaping the “Adlib”-Fashion that we know today. Diving into the history of Paula’s shows why this unique boutique is a must-see on the island.
Armin Heinemann, the founder of the iconic boutique, never planned on opening a fashion store. In 1972 the German-born architect fled Mönchengladbach, his hometown, to escape his abusive marriage. Heinemann was married and had two kids, his son Moritz and his daughter Paula (after whom the boutique was named).
After years of abuse, he says that he was a victim of feminist violence. But because he had been raised to treat women with courtesy and respect, he didn't fight back.
He finally couldn’t help himself any longer, so he took his one and a half and two and a half-year-old kids with him, 4000 DM (Deutsche Mark) the currency at the time and fled first to France. From there, a friend gave him a tip-off to go to Ibiza. At the time there wasn’t the Ibiza we know today - the island of the rich and famous. It was a Balearic Island with hippies and artists. Free-thinking people wanted to escape the Franco- dictatorship of Spain, which was only possible on the island. A lifestyle of a generation that longs for freedom, love, and nature. Away from civilization and all its obligations.
With a lot of white cotton, lace, and floral prints - Heinemann alongside Dora Herbst (another German-born designer, who shaped this era of fashion) and other French or American designers launched the Ibiza-Fashion, which then was called the Adlib-trademark. “Adlib” comes from lat. Ad libitum which translates to “at-will”. More like wearing what you want, but with taste. His partner since the seventies is Stuart Rudnik, who to this day is by his side. Only after hiring him as his sales associate, the business started booming and he has never left Armin ever since.
Heinemann's fashion shows were a must. Jean-Paul Gaultier, Valentino, or even Freddy Mercury were guests and clients, buying the perfect vacation fashion or simply enjoying the drama and fuss of the theatrical fashion shows held at Paula’s. Even the queen Sofía of Spain shopped at Paula’s.
In 2000 the store unfortunately closed and was revived four years ago in 2017 with the help of creative director Jonathan W. Anderson. He worked on the first “Ibiza” collection with Armin Heinemann (74 at the time), giving new life to old archive prints of Heinemann that he created in the '70s to '80s. In remembrance of Anderson’s family vacation in Ibiza, he gave the inspiration for acquiring Armin to work with him. To this day, the Ibiza Collection is a staple of Loewe’s summer wardrobe and recurring every spring-summer season, as a special capsule collection sold exclusively online and in-store in Ibiza.
Despite the pandemic, this year the Adlib-Fashionmakers held a fashion show during Paris fashion week to promote Ibizan fashion. In order to call your business “Adlib”, you need to design and produce in Ibiza. It is a standard of quality because typically Ibizan fashion is heavily beaded, laced, and generally intricate. The fashion overall is heavily produced with natural fabrics and a lot of manual production. A very high standard of quality. Pieces you won't find anywhere else in the world.
If you are in or planning to go to Ibiza, you have to take a trip down the Hippie-History of Eivissa: You must drop by Paula’s and inhale the good spirits. A historical place, not just for fashion, but for culture. In memory of a time where Ibiza was filled with dropouts who were in search for freedom.