Dora Herbst: a fashion legend in Ibiza

Dora Herbst is an alive fashion legend in Ibiza. She was a young German girl who settled in Ibiza in 1968, when the island attracted many artists from different places for its cosmopolitan and creative atmosphere.  Dora began her career as a painter, but by chance she started designing clothing an soon her dresses became very popular  (in the featured image, Dora wearing her first dress and catching the attention of the soldiers). She began creating her own clothes and ended up traveling around the world as an ambassador of the Ibiza style. She dressed some of the most beautiful and interesting women of the time, such as Brigitte Bardot, Romy Schneider and punk princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis.

The unforgettable Sissi, Rommy Schneider wearing a Dora Herbst dress. The boy is her child.

Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, in the 80s, wearing a Dora Herbst dress.

Nowadays, Dora Herbst store in Marina Botafoch is a must visit for Ibiza fashion lovers.  Here you will find unique vintage-inspired dresses, custom jackets Beatles style, ethnic skirts, colorful tunics and a world of color and creativity that make Dora Herbst one of the big names in the history of Ibiza fashion. Today Ibiza Trendy is very proud to show you our interview with the mythical designer.

One of the first pictures of Dora in Ibiza.

What is your first Ibiza memory? I arrived from Valencia by boat at 7 am, I remember very well the first image I saw of the city: the sun reflected in all the colorful houses of Dalt Vila. At that time I thought: here is the place where I want to stay forever.

In the late 60s and early 70s the island was a meeting point for travelers and globetrotters from around the world. What can you tell us about that time? I used to be in la Marina neighborhood and slept in the hostel ‘Pasajeros’. It was a lot of American boys who seemed hippies, but they were just young boys who did not want to go to war in Vietnam and had fled their country. My friends were musicians, artists … people from other countries. When I started living in the campo was when I met the “real” Ibiza people.

You began yourcareer as a painter, but eventually became one of the most famous designers of the time. How did it happen? It is true, I came to Ibiza to paint. One day I bought some gauze to use as a canvas and, by chance, I dumped in a drugstore – I still remember the name: Tintes Iberia. There I bought some dyes and started doing experiments. I dyed fabrics and decorated them with lace, satin ribbons … and that’s how I started with fashion. I actually started making my owns dresses. As I had come from Germany in winter, I didn’t have any summer clothes! People stopped me in the street and asked me to make the clothes I wore. I started designing for artists, singers ….

Dora in the 70s. The dress is her own creation.

What was the leap to success? Many people began to speak about me in Germany. Some wholesalers from different places came to see mee and made orders. In two years there was a boom. Soon the Chamber of Commerce of Madrid came to see me, they could not believe that such a young girl was so successful. They financed my trips to Tokyo, New York, Paris, they gave me awards … it was then when I created the “look Ibiza” and started to export to the world.

Over five decades you have seen big changes in the island. What has impressed you most? I remember there was only a taxi and the streets were not paved. The first charter arrived in the early 70s, everyone was waiting in the airport to see the plane, it was a real bomb.

Furthermore, Ibiza was a paradise, was a kingdom of freedom. People were not materialistic. You could drive an old car or a Rolls Royce, but people who had a special charm was fully accepted. It didn’t mind if you were rich or poor, the person was valued. Today things have changed.

How do you see fashion in Ibiza today? I see a lot of competition with boutiques -all beach clubs are also selling clothes.  Also a lot of products coming from Asia. There is a saturation. In addition, multinationals which often exploit people to get very economic prices will kill small business. That is one of the major threats to Ibiza fashion.

Dora with her soon and a friend in the 80s.

Images from the 80s.

The designer nowadays with models wearing her dressses.

Dora Herbst boutique in Marina Botafoc.

Dora Herbst

Marina Botafoch

Facebook/ Dora Herbst Ibiza

by Judit Carcasona