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Shop Local: Lockdown ‘hardest’ period in Islington vintage shop’s four-decade history

PUBLISHED: 15:48 09 November 2020

Annie Moss of Annie's Vintage Costume and Textiles, Camden Passage, Islington. Picture: Polly Hancock

Annie Moss of Annie's Vintage Costume and Textiles, Camden Passage, Islington. Picture: Polly Hancock

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A four-decade-old Islington vintage clothing store has labelled the ongoing pandemic as the hardest period in its history.

Annie's. Picture: Amber Baxter-ClarkeAnnie's. Picture: Amber Baxter-Clarke

Annie’s vintage clothing store on Camden Passage was started in 1979 and has attracted clientele of Kate Moss, Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Lauren.

Store owner Annie Moss said: “I’m devastated to have to go for a month at least without being able to sell or be open again.

“It’s obviously going to affect (the business) greatly. I’ve still got overheads which I have to pay, it’s just terrible.”

Annie’s store was previously closed for four months during the first lockdown and she believes her store might not have survived without the initial grant and business rates reduction.

Annie's has provided the clothes to The Great Gatsby films. Picture: Amber Baxter-ClarkeAnnie's has provided the clothes to The Great Gatsby films. Picture: Amber Baxter-Clarke

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She hopes similar measures will be brought in to protect local, independent stores like hers during this time.

The shop has an array of dresses, accessories and one-off pieces such as kimonos in intricate prints, embroidered shawls and original 1920s flapper dresses sourced from the UK and Europe.

Annie, 70, believes one of the secrets to her business is her ability to find unique pieces. She said: “People say I have a very good eye for what people want and what is beautiful.”

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Despite the shop overcoming a 2016 flood which affected all of Camden Passage, Annie believes the pandemic lockdown was the hardest period for the shop in its history.

Annie estimated the shop has only taken around a quarter of its sales in comparison to last year.

She is always hopeful for the future and has recently just extended her lease for another three years.

The store does have a website, but she said it will not be able to do deliveries over lockdown .

She stressed the importance of the Christmas period, traditionally the busiest in the retail calendar.

Annie said: “The most important thing for me now is that we do actually open again on December 2 and therefore get the Christmas trade.

“I have new things coming in so please come back in December and select something for the Christmas season.

“A lot of the pieces I have make lovely presents, some beautiful kimonos, shawls, capes and scarves and there’s no fitting involved.”

Annie was very thankful for her loyal customers who returned after the first lockdown.


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