Danny Rose from Edgeware, North London, opted for a change of life style and moved to a very different kind of north – the north of Ibiza. The northern quarter of Ibiza is a quiet paradise, rolling hills, a picture perfect post card from all angles and a world away from super clubs and feisty fiestas. It’s a place where the Ibicenco dream for me is very much still alive.
The Podenco dog is the official Ibiza hound; considered one of the most ancient dog breeds, and serves as symbol of Ibiza. The Podenco brand is made up of a colourful selection of printed T’s with Danny’s ethos of ‘no-nonsense integrity, vitality and originality’ – 100% Ibiza original. Keeping things natural, all Podenco t-shirts are printed on EarthPositive Apparel – 100% organic cotton with an emphasis on organic fair trade practices, ethical manufacturing, justice for workers and low carbon products. EarthPositive takes direct action to combat climate change and to address environmental, social and ethical issues. It demonstrates the highest possible standards in one of the world’s most damaging and harmful industries. This brand stands for everything great about Ibiza and Danny also uses original Ibenco artisan prints for his t’s.
The Podenco brand’s first home was a beach shack on Benirras beach, which opened in 2004. To those who are not familiar with the north of Ibiza, Benirras serves as a symbol of Ibiza’s northern hemisphere, Sunday afternoons on Benirras are notorious on the White Isle – the hippies come and bang their drums, dance and make fire shows, the original balearic beats are still banging strong up on Benirras. For me, this beach is the perfect spot to catch the sunset, time stands still here. I often think Ibiza is the land that time forgot and Benirras is a perfect example why…
Danny had felt he had taken his Podenco brand as far as he could and at one point was considering retiring it, before it was resurrected by Jim Mellon, another northern Ibiza resident. He believed in Danny’s brand and saw the beauty and originality in Danny’s idea and jumped on board as co-owner. Since then they have delivered a new website, new prints and the t’s are all now all over the White Isle. Podenco clothing is designed for men, women and children. A selection of printed t’s, in a variation of colours and styles, the brand is simple and strong. In my opinion, Podenco clothing is exactly what Ibiza needs, a representation of what is original on the White Isle. I caught up with Danny in the centre of Santa Gertrudis to get an idea of the man behind the brand…
What brought you to Ibiza initially?
My partner Maggie and I initially came to Ibiza in 1998 for a two week holiday to visit some friends and immediately fell in love with it. The following year we began a project with another couple. We bought an old finca in the mountains behind San Juan and turned it into a small boutique guesthouse that was a retreat/ mountain hideaway for all who came to stay. The main house was about 400 years old with a few outbuildings. It was in need of lots TLC as it had no running water, no electricity and no telephone reception. We gave up our homes and work in London and jointly moved over to renovate the house, naming it Can Blanc.
How did the Podenco brand start?
The Podenco brand started following on from the Can Blanc guesthouse adventure. I had a young son and was looking to do something different and was offered an opportunity to work with a friend who had a kiddies wear shop on Benirras beach, we ran it together for a year – then the following year I took on the shop and Podenco Benirras was born – from an old shack made up of wood and bamboo. Podenco ran for about 5 years and then we moved back to England about a year later. I had a meeting with a friend of mine, Jim Mellon, who was a regular customer and loyal fan of the brand and he suggested that we resurrect Podenco. We became partners and are working at growing Podenco together.
Why did you choose the Podenco dog?
Because they represent the free spirited independence of Ibiza, which is what makes it so unique. Podencos are very much a part of the Islands folklore. They are the Pharaoh Hounds that travelled over to the islands with the original Phoenecian explorers thousands of years ago and when they landed on the Balearics they ran off into the hills and bred, hunted and roamed wild in the mountains. They are also very much a representation of the north of the island – where I have always resided and loved. When we had our guest house – Can Blanc – the neighbouring house had an old Podenco dog which always kept its distance but always seemed to have these certain characteristics of movement – almost spectral, graceful and etheric. It just seemed to be a perfect representation of what we believed in.
Tell us a bit about the Podenco Brand?
At the moment it’s still in its infancy. We have printed up a range of t-shirts with variations of the logo on different colours for men, women and children. The t-shirts are all made in England using organic cotton shirts and printed with water based inks, not chemical, as it’s an important feature of our brand to maintain its ethical status. We are currently in the process of getting our shirts into as many shops and outlets possible to help spread the word about the brand. You are able to buy Podenco shirts in Sa Trinxa, Sands, Aura, Atzarro, El Baron in Santa Gertrudis, and of course they can be bought on Benirras – the spiritual home of Podenco, in Deseo and also in Elements. They are also available on our website – www.podencoclothing.com. Most of our current designs for the initial range are logo based but we have one design created by a local artist – Kimberley Thomas, who recently held a very successful exhibition in Atzarro – of a Podenco sitting at the foot of an ancient olive tree and inside the tree are many iconic images of Ibiza. It’s a beautiful image.
How do you see the brand evolving?
The future of Podenco is very exciting. We plan to continue spreading the word and the next phase is going to be a redevelopment of the website, a strong social media campaign and the introduction of more product ranges – significantly swimwear, shorts and shirts. Podenco has variety of different designers, including local Ibiza artisans, that we plan to work with in the future, producing individual ranges exclusively for Podenco. Ibiza has a strong resonance and globally it has always held an attraction and a mystique with travellers and explorers for many generations. The possibility that Podenco may be considered as much part of the Ibiza tapestry worldwide like the nightclub brands of Pacha or Space in years to come is very exciting. We have Trademarked Podenco in the EU and are moving forward with International Trademark Registration.
Danny and Jim help the ‘SOS animals’ charity in the UK. This charity rescues many dogs in Spain and works closely with the Podenco. Podenco clothing is distributed freely to this charity.
I believe this is a great brand, with a great Ethos. One of the best creative ideas to come out of Ibiza in a long time.