Annie Doble Is No Longer Ibiza’s Best-Kept Fashion Secret

From the nightlife wonderland to London Fashion Week.

James Kelly
Annie's Ibiza clothing brand

Annie Doble is searching for the right words to define her brand’s style, but she can't quite distill it. “I can't explain it because it's just an instinct for me,” the designer and vintage specialist tells TZR via Zoom. Annie’s Ibiza, Doble’s red-hot label (don't take our word for it, consider Dakota Johnson’s recent cosign) deals in bedazzled evening wear, coquette-friendly corsetry, and sumptuous, floor-length silk slip dresses — a range that doesn’t streamline neatly into a house style. So it’s understandably tough to boil it down to a brief. She eventually lands on “timeless.”

Perhaps that’s not the word most would use to describe a slinky, glittering spiderweb dress, but maybe if flapper girls had had access to the British designer’s threads, the roaring ’20s would have been sparklier yet. “Timeless” is, however, an adjective that tracks when you consider Doble’s obsession with vintage pieces, which served as her entry point to working in fashion. She’s relished in discovering and wearing vintage clothes since her teenage years, which she spent selling the garments she had personally sourced in her stall at London’s Spitalfields Market and on eBay.

Her road to London Fashion Week, where she just sent her third in-house collection down the runway after debuting last year, is not a traditional one characterized by a Central Saint Martins degree or a lifelong dream to lead her own label. “I never really wanted to be a designer,” she muses. Doble left school “pretty early,” she says, around 16 years old, but she wasn’t without direction. She set her sights on New York, where she interned at fashion shows for brands like Hervé Ledger and Zang Toi before landing a job as a buyer’s assistant at Calvin Klein. In her late teens and early 20s, already deep in love with fashion, Doble fell in love with Ibiza.

The island lures a solid number of expats and seasonal residents from all the world over, making for an interesting melange of folks diverse in background — the ideal environment for a brand aimed at bringing gems far and wide together into one space. Doble launched her vintage boutique, Annie’s Ibiza, in 2018, stocking the shop on its namesake sunny isle with her trove of finds and earning fans in high places, like Amal Clooney and Kate Moss. She maintains an antique-filled abode directly above the flagship boutique, where a bounty of colorful flowers drip down from her balcony to frame the storefront. A second location, on London’s Carnaby Street, is where she’s based most of the year.

Doble’s great taste — the common thread throughout the phases of her career in fashion — is something her collaborators saw and cultivated in her, even before she herself recognized it as a calling to design her own personal label. She expanded her store’s offerings from its beginnings as her treasure chest of vintage scores to include co-designed collections with Clio Peppiatt, Silvia Astore, and Richard Quinn, among others. After years of selling these collabs alongside her vintage wares, Doble was encouraged by Peppiatt (whose beaded micro-mini dresses have enchanted everyone from The White Lotus’s lovable good-time girls Mia and Lucia to Taylor Swift) to strike out on her own: “[Peppiatt] said, ‘Annie, you've literally helped me from zero to now, everything we've done together is because of you,’” Doble recalls. Peppiatt gave her friend and colleague an encouraging push by referring Doble to her production manager, who assisted in getting an Annie’s in-house brand up and running.

Now, alongside the vintage pieces that first sparked her interest in fashion, Doble sells her own designs — which are inspired, of course, by that very vintage archive. Making the leap from vintage dealer to the stars to designer felt like a natural progression even though, as she explains, it wasn’t the path she saw herself taking. Her broader interest in fashion, though, was one of her earliest defining qualities.

“I remember walking past shops and thinking I couldn’t wait to be a woman one day, so I could dress like a woman,” she recalls. “Because I knew exactly what I wanted to wear then. My mom told me she could never dress me, I always picked my own clothes.” Around the age of six, when most of her peers were spending time with picture books, she pleaded for a Vogue subscription. Years later, her vast collection of the sartorial bible threatens the architectural integrity of her childhood home: “They're breaking the ceiling in my parents’ house,” she says with a laugh. Naturally, such an archival reverence gave way to a fascination with vintage designer pieces.

While plenty of designers have an ear to the streets in a constant effort to hone in on what the It girls are gravitating toward these days, Doble is that It girl: When we catch up, she’s just touched down from a whirlwind trip across India, where she rang in the new year alongside the likes of Dua Lipa at the lavish Hawa Mahal palace. Lila Moss, the Delevigne sisters, and Margot Robbie are among the brand’s loyal fans; “Your clients sort of just become your friends,” Doble explains. “When they come in and we’re talking about style, it's such a personal thing. When somebody really understands your style, you have a great bond.” All of this to say, she doesn’t really have to research and define burgeoning aesthetics to court her customer, because at the end of the day, she is one of them: a jet-setting fashionista with a packed social calendar in need of party wear as fabulous as she is.

Because the brand draws so much inspiration from the past, and Doble’s start in fashion traces back to a love of vintage pieces, pulling directly from the garments of yesteryear aligns is in strong alignment with the Annie’s Ibiza ethos. “We use a lot of deadstock fabrics, we don’t produce a lot. I might make only five pieces of one item,” she says, adding that she’s been exploring bringing mushroom fabrics into the fold for future collections. Doble is also an ambassador for Project Zero, which aims to fight the impacts of the climate crisis on the ocean. She’s a free diver in her spare time, and that passion combined with working in an industry notorious for its waste has brought the organization’s cause close to her heart. Feeling concerned about the health of the environment seems relevant for any resident of earth these days, but such sustainable values also just makes good sense for a brand like Annie’s Ibiza; when you’re trying to portray the past faithfully and stylishly, an ornate antique tapestry really does the trick for a great corset.

In fact, Doble cites her love of nature as one of the overarching inspirations behind her latest collection. Several ensembles invoke the same spidery motif that made her a no-brainer choice for Johnson’s Madame Web press tour, and one particularly organic looking garment appears right at home among the bushels of flowers lining the runway: a green dress-and-cape ensemble that mimics a lush, unkempt lawn.

Courtesy of Annie's Ibiza

“The first collection was like a circus disco: wild, lots of different things going on,” Doble says of her inaugural in-house line, for which she employed stitching methods from the Ottoman Empire and counted 1950’s stage costuming as features on the moodboard. These influences, decades and centuries old, mingled together to make for party wear that harkened to the past but was decidedly modern — and fittingly Ibiza, with club-ready, resplendently beaded mini dresses and ultra-sheer gowns that have been trendy as of late. (Timeless, indeed.)

“But I started designing that [first] collection not as a collection — it was little fun pieces I was playing with and then we put it all together. I'd say this latest one's very concise, like an English summer's garden. Like you're in a romantic dream.” Featuring a number cobweb-thin yet intricately embellished floor-grazing gowns, several ensembles incorporating the billowy sleeves of a poet, and of course, her trademark structured corsetry, “dreamy” and “romantic” are both undeniably apt descriptors for the 29-look line.

courtesy of Annie's Ibiza

Doble had feared her wellspring of ideas might’ve been all dried up after sending her first collections down the runway, but she ended up having to edit the most recent line down as opposed to being stumped for inspiration. “It's so fulfilling and I love it,” she says of her work. “And I've just realized how much I love being creative and designing. It's obviously what I was best at.” It was sort of inevitable, given her great taste and bubbly disposition, that the designer became ensconced within the tastemaking crowd that finds themselves charmed by her offerings. And given the continued expansion of her influence, it seems likely that any similarly Vogue-obsessed young girl passing by her storefronts these days, forming her own taste around what it means to dress like a woman, might bear her signature sparkle and flair for fun and freedom in mind.