From the time she could flip through the pages of Vogue, Ibiza stylist and b o h é m e designer Charlotte Kennedy knew there was only one direction her future could possibly take – a one-way trip to the land of fashion.
While completing her degree in fashion design, Charlotte began working in show production, which then led to styling for fashion magazines and advertising campaigns. “I technically learnt how to design at university, flat drawings, pattern cutting and other things,” she says of her evolution as a designer. “But it was really when I went to Bali that I REALLY learnt how to design.”
“A very good friend of mine – an amazing, creative person who was discovered by Jean Paul Gaultier selling leatherwear on Portobello Road and then went on to design his Paris collection – guided me, taught me how to find a shape, adapt it, look for fabrics, visit the factories… now my entire design process happens in Bali each year.”
So how then, did this South London slash Bali style guru turn her label into an Ibiza fashion brand? “I’ve always been a hippie girl at heart,” she says. “One day I read about this magical place where real hippies still existed and people gathered together at sunset on a beach and listen to drumming… I just felt that I HAD to go and live I Ibiza where the bohemian life was possible.”
‘Live the life you dream, and wear the dream you live,’ is Charlotte’s mantra and in 2009, she made her dream a reality, setting herself up as a fashion stylist in Ibiza in addition to promoting her label. “I design and make my clothes in Bali, but I bring them here to sell. There’s definitely a certain type of girl who buys them, and they do really well in Ibiza.” Boheme kaftans fall into three categories – chic, timeless animal prints, vibrant modern girl creations with embellishments and a more hippie-esque style, which she admits is more her own personal taste.
“In the end, I really found my ‘place’ in Dalt Vila,” she says, when asked if the she’d adopted the bohemian Benirras lifestyle. “I really think that’s a true reflection of the real Ibiza. I’m a creature of my surroundings – I always have been – and I feel like Dalt Vila is just full of vibrancy and creativity, surrounded by gypsies and animals. Ibiza is a bit like a place that has been lost in time – I could walk around Dalt Vila in wedges and a long beautiful kaftan and I could just as easily be in the ‘70s as now. I want to preserve that magical feeling – it’s timeless.”