destination magazine

Insights from the ultimate island jet-setter

Island Company’s® Creative Director, Spencer Antle knows the Caribbean better than most. His Director Of Public Image, Katie Cherubin, sits down to share his Caribbean travel tips & island insights.
by Katie Cherubin

As Director of Public Image for travel and lifestyle brand Island Company®, I also manage the PR for our Creative Director, Spencer Antle. Lucky me, this dual role entails traveling the tropics with Spencer, whose red hat, rebellious eccentricity and love for travel has given him much knowledge about the Caribbean. At his side for every interview, I’m continually perplexed at the different answers to the same questions: What’s the best island to visit? What’s your packing list? Favorite beach bar?... the answers are always changing. I finally came to realize that he isn’t just changing his mind; instead, I see his opinion change because of his experiences, travel and adventures. From a St Barts music influence to Trinidadian Rum, each experience sparks something new. With Spencer’s unbelievable fast pace, a new influence and experience can quickly spiral to a new product, collection, or even business. The limits are endless and ever changing, and why Island Company has evolved so fast. Amidst Spencer’s ‘CEO-ing’, designing and photographing the apparel brand that has brought us to the tropical wonderland of ideas we get to work on, we still never know what to expect or what’s next. With so much change and growth, I wanted to sit him down and lock down some of the most commonly asked questions. As he has been to every Caribbean island, who better? Perhaps I can finally get him to set ‘some’ of the story straight...

KC: So for those of us that haven’t incessantly traveled the Caribbean, what’s the single best island, period?

SA: Shocking you’d ask me that first! There’re so many great ones for different purposes. If you’re nailing me to one, I’d have to say St Barts. It seems cliché but it’s the most complete island culturally, topographically, the locals, everything.

KC: But you have a condo in Cayman that you are constantly visiting…

SA: I love Cayman! My best friend lives in Cayman and one of my favorite Island Company stores is there, but St Barts is my jam. Dirt bikes, the cool French attitude, food, nightclubs — it’s truly insane. It’s hard for anything to beat that. Cayman’s changing a lot though, I’m excited for the things that are coming on Cayman...

KC: So what do I pack going to Cayman or St. Barts?

SA: Well, all you girls call me Inspector Gadget because I have so many tools and toys but they all serve purposes. Electricity converters are probably the most important. I keep a Ziploc of them in my bag. Oh, and a flashlight. Good for beaches at night and amazing for concerts or dark bars, too. Watch how fast you get through a Jamaican concert crowd waving a flashlight yelling “Coming through!!”

KC: Essential clothes for an island trip?

SA: They have to have versatility, my first priority in designing Island Company® clothes – from the beach to dinner at the Ritz Carlton. And follow the ‘Rule of Twos’. Two pairs of jeans, shoes, boardshorts, linen shirts and so on. If you carry a travel detergent you can wash them for weeks.

KC: I know you have tricks for the airport because I’ve been on a hundred trips with you. Can you share?

SA: Be nice to the counter employees with the airlines! They get attacked non-stop! One woman told me when I showed up a day early for a flight to Rio that a man had just yelled at her because she didn’t hold the plane for him. HE WAS TWO HOURS LATE!! Be kind. They deserve respect and they hold the keys to the universe.

KC: We have a new store in Grand Cayman at Camana Bay. You designed the new collection, what’s the must-have for this year?

SA: Going for the shameless plug, huh? KC: Yup! SA: Okay, well, it has to be our Beach Sheet which just serves an almighty purpose. Lay it out and get tan. Nothing says island lifestyle more than a huge printed soft sheet where you and your beloved can bathe yourself in oil and soak up the salt and sand together. I’m on them daily.

KC: Favorite activity in Cayman?

SA: Getting underwater with Nick (Buckley), who owns hands down the best dive shop in Cayman, Deep Blue Divers. As a longtime instructor myself, I consider Nick the best diver in the Caribbean. He’d hate me for saying it publicly ‘cuz he’s too humble, but I’ve never seen a single person have nothing but fun with him. You girls spend more time with him than anyone, what do you think? KC: Adore him! We’re all in love with Nick! SA: Yeah he’s my underwater hero and as far as I’m concerned, a quiet Cayman celebrity. However, he’s gonna disassemble my gear at 140ft off the North Wall when he reads this...I’ll be lucky if I come up with anything but my mask... KC: I think I’ll skip that dive! SA: Oh well. Screw it. Print it. I’ll take my changes! Life in the islands!