Voo Visits: Anne Isabella

Anne Rasmussen founded her eponymous womenswear label Anne Isabella in 2020, conveying a sense of nostalgia, femininity and luxury with an exceptional eye for detail through her designs. For this episode, we visited the Central-Saint-Martens graduate in her studio and home in Berlin-Wilmersdorf to talk about her fascination of the 70’s and what it means to be a young designer.
Voo Visits: Anne Isabella

Voo Visits is a series introducing new and old friends of Voo, like-minded creatives and people from Berlin who inspire us.

“Ultimately, I think luxury is in the small hidden details.”

Voo Store: Your collections are deeply vintage inspired with visible references of the 60’s and 70’s. Where does this fascination and vintage nostalgia steam from?

Anne: There is something optimistic about 60’s and 70’s fashion that I relate to and there were a lot of boundaries being broken during that time when it came to dressing. I also love the very graphic, bold designs of the 60’s and the more psychedelic and ‘anti- fashion’ approach of the 70’s. So in many ways it can be contradicting, but it’s fun to cross those references. At the end of the day I am also a 90’s kid, so I think the revival of the 60’s and 70’s that happened during my childhood has just stuck with me. Ultimately, I like to give my designs some context and references to work around.

V: You studied Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins. How has this experience shaped you?

A: The course really focuses on the design process, so it totally shaped my approach to design development, research and experimenting. But there is also a particular - ‘tough-love’ - approach to teaching and a generally competitive environment that helped me articulate the core of my design identity and taught me to communicate with a distinct voice.

V: We briefly talked about the importance of mentorship. What advice would you give your younger self and soon-to-be Fashion students?

A: Focus on your vision, and don’t try to please everyone because it’s not possible. Stick to your core, and work out what is important to you. Make sure to get some sleep. And most importantly, connect with your peers. Learning from one another and the connections it creates are crucial after graduating. I am still very close with friends from Uni who have their own labels too, and it’s amazing to be able to share our experiences running a young business.

V: What do you think is missing in the industry when it comes to supporting young talent?

A: Financing! When you are first starting out, navigating through the funding process and the business side of a label is really tough. Then a little further down the line, I think an on-going dialogue with stores can be very helpful, in order to understand what works. I also find it difficult to try and fit into the mold of creating large collections twice a year. Many young labels like myself have tiny teams, so it can sometimes feel hard to compete with major labels, when it comes to output. So essentially, a bit of flexibility.

V: After graduating, you worked for Jil Sander and Courrèges. How has this shaped your creative work?

A: In the case of Courrèges I was a huge fan before I got to work there, so it was really special for me to be able to work with archival pieces, and to work around that design identity. As for Jil Sander it was such a good lesson in what luxury fashion is in a modern brand. All the pieces are so beautifully made.

V: This knowledge is being translated into Anne Isabella now, your pieces are defined by exceptional attention to detail. There are fabric-coated buttons perfecty matching the pattern, delicate zip closures. Why is this important to you?

A: Ultimately, I think luxury is in the small hidden details, the things you see up close. I feel that if I am to add something out there, it has to be special, and for me it’s the subtle little things that make that happen. I also like the idea of constant discovery in the piece. It should look great from far away, but you have to be able to reveal more the closer you get.
I’m always trying to strike the balance between quirky elements, intricate details and wearability. Those elements are really key to my vision for the brand.

V: Why did you choose Berlin as your base for home and work?

A: I moved here to join my boyfriend, who is from Berlin and shortly after moving, we established the brand together. I think it’s a really great place to be starting out, as the rhythm of the city is slightly more forgiving then for example London or Paris.

V: What’s your favorite piece of the AW22 collection?

A: Ouf that’s a tough one, AW22 was a really special collection for me. I wear the blue optical jeans a lot! I think they are just super comfy, but also carry our signature placed print with the details around the pockets. They represent everything I try to do with my designs.

V: What are you looking forward to? Any goals, dreams, near-future-fun?

A: Next week I am traveling to Venice to catch the Biennale before it ends. I’m looking forward to getting some inspiration there :)