Denim Designer on Fall's Brightest Jeans

Los Angeles-based denim brand Mother gained cult status almost immediately upon hitting rack this Spring. Founded by Tim Kaeding, former Creative Director for 7 For All Mankind and a GAP 1969 alum, and Lela Tillem, an L.A. tastemaker who cut her teeth at Citizens of Humanity, there's some serious denim genius running through this outfit. We caught up with Kaeding to talk about what it's like to finally helm his own denim outfit, the moment he knew he had really made it, and what he loves and detests about being an Angeleno:

The Feast: Why did you start Mother?
Tim Kaeding: I’ve been making jeans for years... I really wanted to do my own denim project from the ground up, with the people I like to work with, and make the things I like most. Pretty simple, no real gimmicks just cool jeans...

What's the most difficult thing about doing what you do?
Making a jean is a lot more complex than it may seem... Designing a wash that works perfectly with the style it’s in and making sure it is the absolute best fitting jean in the market.

How did you know you had made it as a designer/label?
When Mother really got its legs and started working I knew that I was doing it... There are a lot of talented designers out there, but to actually get Mother from concept to consumer is really gratifying, I suppose that means I’ve made it!

Do you remember the first time you sold something?
Yes….New York circa 1995. It was my first collection on my own and I saw a woman walking in Soho wearing the pants that I just shipped to Barneys the week before. Very cool.

In your opinions, what's trending in terms of denim right now? Are you into it?
Denim is showing up outside of a basic 5 pocket a lot which makes designing Mother really fun right now. There is a lot of saturated color and lighter shades that are great too. The dark rinse skinny is a staple for many, but it’s a great time to push the boundaries too.

What makes a pair of jeans worth upwards of $150?
We are incredibly detail oriented, from the weave of our fabrics to fittings, every step is a hand done process. It’s really more involved than any other garment you’ll buy. Try and find anything else that has been cared for this much at $150.

What is your favorite piece from your Fall '11 collection?
Fall for us was really about color; I don’t know if that constitutes a ‘piece’, but our color palette through out the season is really cool. Our velvety ‘Wilder’ in ‘Grand Sophie’ is pretty hot too.

What have you been wearing nonstop lately?
I made a new pair for myself that will be totally broken in about a year and a half. I wear them every day.

Words of advice to aspiring designers?
Designing is half the battle, make sure you love it enough to spend twice the time and twice the money to see each idea through.

Your favorite places to eat, shop, and play in Los Angeles?
Just went to Playa on Beverly, they make tapas that look like elf villages and taste like angel wings... I like South Willard, Skylight Books, Opening Ceremony. I really love these stores that are so conscious of who they are and everything is so well designed I could spend hours...

Fill in: I love L.A. because I built my family here, but I could go without the long flights to New York.

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