On Ibiza, a Celebration of Summer Love


Prevailing wisdom holds that mixing business and romance is a bad idea. For Adam Shapiro and Gautam Rajani, the opposite has been true. The London-based couple — partners in life and in work — recently celebrated both their first wedding anniversary and the debut of their resort-inspired men’s wear label, SMR Days, at London Fashion Week. This past May, to mark the milestones, they invited 27 guests to an outdoor dinner in Ibiza, Spain, where they’d hosted their three-day wedding last summer. “This place has played a major role in what we do,” says Shapiro of the Balearic island. “We’ve gone every summer since we got together in 2017, sometimes for 10 days, sometimes for two months, and we’ve built an amazing friend circle on the island.”

In addition to being a favorite destination of the couple, Ibiza is one of their label’s two spiritual homes; India, where Rajani was born and where the pair source many of their fabrics, is the other. They launched SMR Days with their friend Dan May, a brand consultant, in November 2020, inspired by the pent-up wanderlust they were feeling during the pandemic lockdowns to create a line of vacation-ready linen shirts, warm-weather suiting and other relaxed pieces featuring traditional Indian details like kantha-style stitching and block prints. Highlights from the latest collection — including pineapple-embroidered jackets and burgundy trousers with black stripes — could be spotted on many of the guests at the couple’s celebratory dinner, which was held at a modern cliffside bungalow near the coastal village of Es Cubells that they rented for the occasion.

Though the party was called for 7 p.m., guests, in true Ibizan style, didn’t start arriving until around 8:30 and the meal of tapas, paella and salad wasn’t served until 10. That left plenty of time for drinking margaritas by the pool, which is surrounded by a garden and cantilevered over the ocean, looking out onto the nearby island of Formentera. As the sun set, the air turned cooler and the couple handed out tie-dyed cotton blankets upcycled from their past collections to ward off the chill. But they also, said Shapiro, relied on “certain levels of inebriation” to keep their guests warm.

The attendees: “It was about bringing our love for the island, love for each other, love for our friends and the business all together,” Rajani, 37, said. He and Shapiro, 42, invited friends including the publicists Nan Richards, 62, and Bruno Busson, 34; the stylist Rahi Chadda, 30; and the magazine editor Tobias Frericks, 45. Among the Ibizan locals in attendance were the shoe designer Patrick Cox, 60; the couple’s wedding planner, Johanna Carlsson, 35; and the stylist, curator and co-founder of the sustainable fashion boutique the Agora, at the nearby Six Senses resort, Daniela Agnelli, 58.

The décor: “Knowing that we weren’t going to be serving the meal formally, we wanted the table to feel full,” said Shapiro. “The food had to look great, with lots of options and flowers.” A curved oak table from the local store Cocoq Ibiza brimmed with Spanish-style yellow and blue glazed porcelain bowls. And the flowers — shaggy bunches of delphiniums in shades of blue ranging from pale to electric and mixed with wild yellow orchids — came from Mireya Estévez of Aurea Floral Studio, who was also the couple’s wedding florist.

The food: The Ibizan catering company La Grande Bouffe laid out a tapas feast of Padrón peppers with Ibizan sea salt, mini tortillas with confit potato and sweet onion, La Mancha Manchego with quince membrillo, charred artichoke with golden-fried garlic, handmade chorizo cooked in Asturian cider, crispy calamari with lemon mayonnaise, coriander-spiced Ibizan olives and focaccia with roasted garlic aioli. Everyone also helped themselves to an enormous pan of paella with cuttlefish, Galician mussels, surf clams and king prawns, as well as a variety of salads including roasted squash and chickpea, tabbouleh and buffalo mozzarella with Ibizan tomatoes and almond-basil dressing.

The drinks: Upon arrival guests were offered margaritas with Espolòn tequila served on the rocks in salt-rimmed martini glasses, as well as tumblers of blush-pink hibiscus-infused water. With the meal they drank a pale M de Minuty rosé from Côtes de Provence and a Jean Leon chardonnay, a light dry white from Spain that the duo first tasted at their favorite lunch spot in Ibiza, Ses Boques.

The music: The couple asked the D.J. Bradley Miller (stage name Cktrl) for what they called “happy music that makes you want to dance,” which resulted in a mix of hip-hop, disco, electro-pop and more. Among the highlights were Satin Jackets’ “Never Enough” — which was a favorite of Rajani and Shapiro early in their relationship — “I Specialize in Love” by Sharon Brown and “Bourgie’ Bourgie’” by Gladys Knight and the Pips.

The conversation: Topics ranged from summer holiday plans to the preparations for SMR Days’ London Fashion Week presentation the following month. Guests marveled at the view of the Porroig bay below and Formentera in the distance. And there was plenty of chatter among the locals about upcoming elections on the island, as well as new restaurants such as Sushi by Walt and Es Xarcu, which serves traditional Ibizan food.

Tip: Ban social media to keep guests focused on the moment. “We had everyone put away their phones for the duration of the evening,” Shapiro said. “I had to have mine locked in a friend’s hotel room,” Rajani admitted. As a result, Shapiro continued, “people just spoke to each other and enjoyed the house.”

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