Spencer Antle has been described as an islomniac, micro-manager, daredevil, workaholic, and according to the New York Times, an “expert on getting stuff free”.
But the blue-eyed founder and Creative Director of Island Company (311 Worth Ave., Palm Beach; 561/655-3231) is much more than that.
Antle is a seaplane pilot, photographer, writer, scuba diving instructor, and an award-winning television commercial director. But one thing the adventurous entrepreneur does not consider himself a clothing designer.
“I’m not,” he says. “I don’t even like clothes to be honest with you. I mean I like clothes, but I think I like the simplicity of them. That’s why most of [Island Company] is simple and clean.”
The luxurious line of breezy, resort wear includes swimwear for women, men and children, as well as linen dresses, shorts, shirts, sandals, accessories, sunglasses, sunscreen and tumblers. One of the company’s most popular items is a T-shirt that reads ‘Quit Your Job, Buy A Ticket, Get A Tan, Fall In Love, Never Return’-- a message that Antle came up with himself.
“The ‘Quit Your Job’ shirt was originally a giveaway for our customers,” he said. “It was something that I wrote down on a cocktail napkin as an idea that just popped into my head.”
Most of Antle’s fashion success seems to have been by chance. Previously an established film director, Antle only began dabbling in the fashion world when he became frustrated with the swimwear selection available for a former girlfriend. He began inquiring about his own design ideas.
“I started making phone calls, and the phone calls just led into information, and information led into ideas, and from there it was really about just were our ideas good?” Antle says.
He created 13 bikinis, and after receiving positive feedback, Antle invested his entire life’s savings into the first round of production. He then drove along the California coast trying to sell his ideas and product.
That was in 2002. Island Company is now headquartered in West Palm Beach, with a beautiful boutique nestled on Worth Avenue. Island Company has six retail stores from Nantucket to Grand Cayman, and is sold in more than 300 resorts in the US, Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Philippines, Australia, and the UK.
From the first batch of bathing suits to the company’s latest collection of linens, Antle continues to create what personally appeals to him.
“If it’s not something I’d want to see on a girlfriend, or me, I don’t do it,” he said.
If you happen to be wearing one of Island Company’s latest looks out, don’t expect Antle (or any Island Company employee) to tell you that you are wearing their work.
“We have a rule of thumb where we don’t go up and take credit for [the clothing],” Antle says. Instead, you’ll receive a casual compliment. “We just want to let people know that we get it. We’re in the club. We’re with you.”
The 2013 Collection
Boca Raton magazine also had the opportunity to view Island Company's 2013 resort line, which will begin hitting stores at the end of October. Here are five of our favorite pieces:
1. Linen Ties
Island Company has introduced 16 different linen ties in a variety of stripes, solids, and tropical prints. Not only can these light accessories be worn as formal-wear but also make a darling sash/belt on dresses for women!
2. Passport Swim Trunks
It was love at first sight for us with these passport board shorts, designed with Antle's real passport stamps!
3. Gunpowder Pants
Island Company has started introducing a few new darker shades into their collection like graphite and gunpowder (never black!). These airy pants are perfect for transitioning from the beach to the (sand)bar.
4. Antilles Dress
Color blocking is still in style and this beautiful dress (complete with keyhole sleeves) is perfect to wear in any season in South Florida.
5. Beach Slumber Skirt
Our last choice is this intricate, linen skirt. The handmade detailing and horn buttons will look great with a bright tank top or over a bikini.
Want more Island Company? Pick up a copy of our December/January issue for more on Spencer Antle and Island Company!