Ibiza designer interview: Charo Ruiz

Charo Ruiz is synonymous with Ibiza style. Born in Seville, the daughter and granddaughter of dressmakers, it seemed fashion was in her blood, and she found her way to Ibiza in the late 1970s while working as a fashion model. Soon after, she began making and selling her own creations in the markets at Las Dalias and Es Canar, which in turn saw her open her own workshop. Fast forward to 2015 and her brand is iconic, and extremely important in the evolution of Ibiza’s ‘Ad Lib’ style movement. We caught up with Charo as she launched her all-new flagship store on Vara de Rey in Ibiza town to talk about her life in fashion.

Tell us a little bit about how you came to work in fashion in Ibiza?
In the 1970s I was a model in Barcelona and I visited Ibiza one summer, for love, and that’s when I also feel in love with the island! Then, when my daughter was born, and my boyfriend become the father of my children, I settled down and opened my own workshop in 1989 – that was when the Charo Ruiz Ibiza brand was also born, when my collections started to become very recognisable by the quality of fabrics and the application of lace and crochet. This still exists today, and has become very iconic of my style. I love the quality of life that Ibiza provides – it is perfect for my work and to raise my children in an environment of nature, freedom and peace.

How do you describe your signature style?
In every single one of my pieces – whether it is a miniskirt or a wedding dress – I want to convey the message that the wearer should feel comfortable, without losing the feeling of femininity or quality.

What inspires you these days?
Living in Ibiza is an unlimited source of inspiration to me – the light, the colours and the textures. Here your happiness levels are high, and you’re around people with good energy, cosmopolitan people who really make this small island very grand. It really makes you feel motivated to do well. I recognise that the daily work in my workshop, in front of my patterns and knits is what gives me the strength and the drive to deliver new collections every season.

Tell us a little about the 2015 collections?
This season the collection is strong and bold, with various options. Some pieces are more intense, with more new lace finishing, and there are some minimalist options with new fabrics and finishes – some in pastels and others in evocative colours like blood red. For the party collections, the fabrics are more sheer, with a very subtle shine.

How has your brand evolved over the years? How do you see it fitting in with today’s Ibiza style?
Our concept of fashion is fairly timeless. I don’t follow trends too much because my vision of fashion and my business structure means we are specialised in a very specific concept. There are certain pieces in the collections that we just can’t withdraw, as they are selling as well today as they were ten years ago! With the recent rise in popularity of the ‘bohemian’ style concept, my dresses are perfect for the summer season on the coast – combined with ethnic jewellery and espadrilles in summer and with boots, denim jackets or leather in more urban environments.

Who is your customer?
I find it complicated to define a Charo Ruiz woman, as my customers are as far and wide and Saint Barths, Harrods, the middle east, Russia and Japan. I think their common denominator is respecting their individuality, and claiming their own femininity in a uniformed global market.

Tell us about the new flagship store on Vara de Rey?
I am very excited about this new project – it only opened a week ago (May 2015) and is getting very positive feedback. The store itself has been designed using precious materials, for the ‘made in Spain’ feeling but with a modern touch. I think the location is very important – Vara de Rey needed to have a shopping reference for true Ibiza style and I think soon it will become a must-visit shopping destination in Ibiza.