This week our Designer Q & A is with Tim Kaeding, Designer and Co-Founder (with Lela Tillem) of MOTHER Denim.
1) You guys previously worked at 7 For All Mankind and Citizens of Humanity, how did you meet and then decide to start a business?
We were always around – LA denim is a relatively small scene so everyone knows one another… We officially met through one of our trim sources, and found that we had really aligned ideas for what was lacking in the denim biz.
2) There are hundreds of denim brands out there all competing to find a place in the consumer’s wardrobe, how do you begin to try to make a name for a new brand and stand out against all that competition?
Well we called our co. Mother, and that helps. We believe that we are making jeans that are really wearable and still fresh and hip. It’s a staple in peoples wardrobes…
3) I love the name Mother; it is so iconic. Who came up with it and what was the thinking behind it?
We knew that we wanted to create a brand that was bold, feminine and very iconic – Mother. Nothing else conveys such a heavy message. We also like the various ways the word Mother can be used in popular culture… The rocking ‘motha’ the bad mother… the biker tattoo mother… and the like domineering mother in Hitchcock films.
4) Tell us about the first collection, what was your inspiration and what statement is it making about your brand?
We wanted to move on from what’s currently happening in premium denim – rinses leggings slouchy etc.- and make jeans classic and sexy again… We went wide leg high wasted and minimal with lots of bright colors. It feels really fresh. We did away with grunge in favor of beautiful… Isn’t that what girls jeans should be?
5) In a world where there is so much denim around, your choice of brand makes a statement about who you are. Being a J Brand woman is different from being a 7 For All Mankind woman. if someone decides to buy a pair of Mother denim jeans what do you think that tells us about her?
I would love it to be a little more universal… Jeans have become an American tradition embraced by the world over. I would like our women to feel the freedom and independence that denim stands for. Empowered
6) What are your goals for Mother denim, are you aiming to one day be as large and mainstream as your previous employers?
We make hand made jeans, that is our foremost responsibility. If we become as ‘large’ as our contemporaries it will be because we continue to make the best jeans around…
7) Why do you think it is that after being in existence for over 200 years denim is more popular now that ever?
Until the 50’s denim was a necessity. Then denim became popular because of the idea of hard working rebellious American youth. However it didn’t really fit all that well. The 70’s saw women’s jeans become a sex symbol, but were still made of heavy rigid 100% cotton denim. Now we have fabrics that weave new materials into denim, giving it an amazing new feel and flexibility. The work wear fabric of the past has been so loved and worked with that it has become a new modern fabric that is as sophisticated as any ‘luxury’ fabric around….
8) What was it that first made you get involved in the denim business?
Somewhat chance, I was at the Gap and 1969 was getting started and I found a real love and intrigue in the fabric and what you can do with it.
9) What is the first pair of jeans that you remember?
A pair of light stonewashed Girbaud skinny jeans. I wore them until they disintegrated.
10) Which are your all time favourite pair of jeans?
A vintage Levis 517 I found in a thrift store in Osaka… that jean spawned a lot of jeans through out my career…
11) If there is one person out there that you would love to see wearing a pair of your jeans who would it be?