If you need an authoritative figure to tell you what to wear, we’d like to suggest Mother Denim. The new denim line by Lela Tillem (formerly of Citizens of Humanity), and Tim Kaeding, (formerly of Seven for All Mankind) has proven so far that Mother always knows best. We showed you their first lookbook for spring, featuring a full range of cuts and styles in a gorgeous spectrum of colors, and now we bring you straight to the source with this exclusive interview.
Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning. What inspired you to get this brand off the ground?
Tim Kaeding: The need for a new specialized denim brand—one that’s built from the ground up, with all of the ideas I’ve had over the years that didn’t make it through the big brand muck.
DT: How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?
TK: The ‘competition’ really helps define us. As one company starts to get sort of run of the mill like all dark rinse skinny leggings we do a bright blue bell, something no one else is doing. And by contrast, as some companies go to town on senseless embellishments, we pull back and find the beauty in the classic detailing of jeans… Where some people worship the authentic, we aren‘t afraid to push the boundary’s of what jeans are supposed to be…
DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?
TK: Yes, all good designers are superstitious and ritualistic… My team and I travel to the desert and go on an over-night drunk. Then I leave them behind with nothing more than a canteen of rusty water and a pair of jeans to find their way back to Los Angeles. The one that returns first will describe how the jeans were used in rescue and will be spared – the latter will not…. and sometimes we just go to Barneys.
DT’s note: Interns beware!
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DT: Describe the woman who represents your ideal target customer.
TK: She’s someone who appreciates the newest things, not a follower.
DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?
TK: We listen to a lot of music here… and are inspired by both the sounds and the artists themselves – We loved the maxes Kansas City book… Maybe we could collaborate with some of these great new girl bands – Vivian girls/Babies, etc.
DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?
TK: The Runaway in Heaven, Texas…. maybe with killer boots….
DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?
TK: Favorite, light colored denim. Least favorite, cargos.
DT: Street style and style blogs are huge in the industry right now as a source of inspiration, influencing the high-end labels rather than vice versa. How much does street style influence your designing?
TK: They do, I mean I still love the see the refinement of street style on the runway, but there is a lot of individuality out there right now, which is so perfect for denim.
DT: Tell us about your Mother!
TK: She’s a tall, skinny, amazing Mom!
DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next?
TK: I’m looking forward to mixing in some novelty materials with denim, leather details, faux fur and we are always developing new washes, everyday. Actually, that’s the most ritualistic thing we do… we work out of the laundry so we can develop new things daily.
A huge thanks to Mother Denim for taking the time in their busy schedule for this interview. Keep an eye on this brand as they begin their ascent. Check out their website, and don’t forget to like them on facebook!
—Jackie Racer & Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: Citizens of Humanity, hot new denim brand, interview, Lela Tillem, mother denim, Seven For all Mankind, Tim Kaeding