Hi, this is Merel and Alok, parents of 6 children and grandparents of a beautiful granddaughter. We all live in the Ibicencan mountain, together with the couples of our children and the mother of Merel, 85 years old. So our life is very dynamic, many things happen continuously and we always have many projects open.
From 1 to 10 what levels of hippism did you have before arriving in Ibiza? I (Merel) a 10. I was born in Amsterdam in the 60's, my mother was an artist and my father an intellectual of the art world, so I've been a hippie all my life. Alok instead grew up in a more traditional environment and he had his great spiritual change during a one-year trip through India.
When did you come to the island for the first time and why did you stay? I (Merel) came for the first time as a child, Alok when he was a teenager. The two of us separately were trapped by the strong energy of this island, something that as they say "this place captures you or rejects you".
What is Worldfamilyibiza and how were the beginnings of the brand? Worldfamilyibiza is today a well-known fashion brand, but when we started 20 years ago we did not have a name. Everything started out of necessity, we did not have money to eat, so to get ahead we decided to do the only thing we know: create with passion. One day I started making hand-stitched bags in the yard of the house, with the help of my mother. It was a very slow process and each bag came out totally different from the previous one but the thing worked.
In that time you lived in a teepee without light or water and you sold fabrics in an old van parked on the beach... How do you go from that point to come out in Vogue? It was all very organic. That time coincided with the beginning of a great global trend and suddenly famous people started buying our bags. After those people appeared in fashion magazines with our designs and one thing was leading to the other.
On your website you can see the whole family dressed from top to bottom with designs from Worldfamilyibiza... Tell me the truth, you wear Primark underwear like all mortals. We do not have anything from Primark, because they work with children. But of course we bought underwear, shirts and socks in "normal" stores.
Many times success is not just a matter of work but also of luck. Was there a fortuitous event that meant a before and after for your brand? Yes, a cooperation we did with the Paul & Joe brand in Paris. After that we entered into the Prêt-à-porter world and appeared in a lot of fashion magazines.
Imagine that they give you one of those huge billboards that are at the exit of the airport, the first thing that tourists see when they arrive in Ibiza. What would you put in it? What a good question! Well, of course a picture of the whole family.
What character would you like me to interview next month? To Grandma Margarita from Mexico, an incredible woman and a great teacher of life.