We speak to Amanda O’Riordan, wife of legendary Ibiza resident DJ Judge Jules about her new fashion blog Amanda Zips It Up (www.amandazipsitup.com) and life living on the island, plus a few fashion tips for us heading into those cold winter months!
Hello Amanda, how are you?
Hey Andrew. I’m great, thanks for asking. Just back from a weekend in Ibiza for the October Festival 2014. It was awesome.. Not quite sure how I managed to get home in one piece and I feel shattered now – but that goes to show what a great weekend it was.
Good stuff! You have a new venture ‘Amanda Zips It Up’ (www.amandazipsitup.com) – tell us about that.
I launched my fashion blog ‘Amanda Zips It Up’ at the beginning of the summer, back in June, and it has really taken off beyond anything I could’ve imagined. There’s huge competition with fashion bloggers, and vloggers right now, it seems to be the ultimate fashion ‘title’ of the moment. I think what I bring to the table is something a little different; affordable fashion, lifestyle hints and tips and of course Ibiza – with a dash of tongue in cheek humour for good measure.
We do enjoy your witty style of journalism on your blog. When did you start writing?
I have never trained to be a journalist but did pretty well at school with GCSEs in English Language and Literature. Because of social media and the internet, people just don’t ‘write’ much any more. Believe it or not, it was around the time I discovered Facebook in 2007/8 that I started writing posts which involved some wit or sarcasm and saw a huge response to it. I prefer to be self depreciating and use observational wit rather than the boring standard posts – i.e.. ‘Going out for a pint tonight’ or ‘Here’s a picture of my cat…’. Yawn.
Agreed! Amanda Zips It Up combines your two loves of fashion and Ibiza. Have you always been interested in fashion?
I have always been into fashion. I studied graphic design after leaving school and went into publishing quite young. I moved into a fashion direction – directing fashion shoots around the world – which is how I met Jules actually. I like to think I have an eye for trends.
Cool. You’ve just been at the October Festival in Ibiza, can you tell us a bit about how that went for people that haven’t been?
The October Festival was new to me this year. It’s a four day event incorporating the annual ‘Flower Power’ party which I go to every January. It’s the tail end of the closing parties so a last chance to party on the island before it all shuts down for the winter. It’s a ‘Hippy’ themed weekend basically. There’s live bands, decorated streets, food stalls and everyone dresses up and parades around San Antonio and the West End. The whole community comes together with that ‘bohemian’ vibe Ibiza is renowned for. Pacha Ibiza hosts Flower Power with music from the 60s and 70s all summer – so this is a pure weekend of all that – just out of season. I thoroughly recommend it. You can still fly to Ibiza pretty cheaply then too.
Thanks for the tip! Ibiza and great fashion go hand in hand would you agree?
Ibiza and great fashion do go hand in hand. It’s all about the grungy rock chick or the boho beach babe for me.
When did you first visit the island? What were your initial impressions?
I first came to Ibiza in 1995/6. I was blown away by the beautiful island. It had such a magical aura about it. It was still so rustic and unspoilt then. I loved the carefree attitude everyone had. To me, this was the best time I had in Ibiza. It’s all gone a little Vegas recently but I will always love Ibiza with all of my heart.
What is it about Ibiza you love?
I’m lucky to have a beautiful place over looking Cala Salada – I love the view. It’s the tranquillity of the beaches… the buzz of the cicadas in the forests in hot August, mystical Es Vedra in all it’s splendour, the clear starry night skies and full moons but most of all, I love the sunsets at Café Del Mar every evening.
Beautiful sunsets! Give us an average day of your life in Ibiza.
An average day starts with breakfast at Rita’s Cantina down in the port of San Antonio, fresh orange juice (the best on the island) and the papers followed by a swim back at home and a blast of sun before lunch. Depending on whether it’s fish or meat – it’s always long and leisurely. Late afternoon to early evening would be a boat trip out to Es Vedra or Calla Bassa for a swim in the beautiful clear sea. You have to catch the sunset at Mambo or Café Del Mar over a cocktail or three along with the masses who sit on the rocks watching this awesome sight and listening to chilled beats. Then it’s time to get dressed up for dinner at Las Dos Lunas followed by a few hours dancing at Amnesia before stumbling home and doing it all again the next day.
Amnesia is one of our favourite clubs also. What are some of your favourite Ibiza tunes of all time?
Favourite Ibiza tunes for me: Needing You, Lady, I Remember, Insomnia and Energy 52 Café Del Mar is my all time fave.
Great tracks. How do you think Ibiza has evolved over the years?
Ibiza has certainly shifted into very high end glamour with the whole celebrity scene – everyone who’s anyone was seen diving off a yacht here during the summer. The hotels are bigger and more lavish than ever before and the bars and restaurants are certainly not for the faint hearted. There are still elements of the old rustic Ibiza but there is so much money on the island now, it’s hard to avoid the influences from Las Vegas and the South of France. If you look hard enough, you can still do Ibiza on a budget.
What would be your tips then for people visiting the island? Where are your favourite places?
Ibiza isn’t cheap if you want to go out eating and clubbing every night. I suppose a good tip would be go all inclusive but rent a car and get out and about for a couple of lovely meals and save yourself for two or three big nights out rather than peaking too soon and feeling ill all holiday. Visit the north and take a camera. If you can afford to rent a villa with friends I believe this is the best way to enjoy Ibiza… late night BBQs and private pool parties. You have to visit the Old Town for shopping and hop on the ferry for a day out on beautiful Formentera – it’s like nothing on earth!
Great tips! Finally, as you’re the go to girl for fashion, can you give us some fashion tips here at Uneek Ibiza going into the winter months?
My fashion tips for this winter – for the girls – invest in a statement faux fur coat, leather skinny jeans and a killer pair of red boots. As for the boys – skinny jeans, slogan T-shirts and Parkas are the key look this season.
Thanks for your time Amanda!
Check out Amanda’s blog Amanda Zips It Up at;
Facebook – www.facebook.com/AmandaZipsItUp
Twitter – www.twitter.com/AmandaZipsItUp