One of London’s oldest vintage clothing stores is threatened with closure after the landlord demanded nearly double the rent. The shop supplied dresses for last year’s Great Gatsby movie starring Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio, which won an Oscar for its costumes, and the 1974 version with Mia Farrow and Robert Redford.
Annie’s in Islington has traded for 40 years. Customers include Kate Moss, Ralph Lauren and Downton Abbey actress Jessica Brown-Findlay. The shop’s owner, Annie Moss, received a letter from her landlord — Islington Benwell 3, run by Christopher Christou — saying her rent next year is likely to increase from £32,000 to £60,000. The firm also wants back-rent of £60,000, Ms Moss claimed.
She said: “The whole thing is a terrible shock. Business is not brilliant at the moment for most of us and the increase in rent is really over the top. You might expect a small increase but not this. I’m outraged and worried. I don’t want to leave Camden Passage and I appeal to them, please don’t kill off Annie’s.” Ms Moss opened the corner shop in 2001 but has traded in Camden Passage since 1974.
Some of the store’s most popular items are 1920s flapper dresses and lace wedding dresses. Local councillor Martin Klute said: “Doubling the rent is another example of the overheated property market. My fear is that … the landlords may really want Annie out so that they can sell the property.”