Sally and Lettie Pattinson are a mother and daughter duo who are making their mark in the fashion industry with their unique collection of faux fur bomber jackets. Creating their vegan-friendly jackets in their studio based in Hawarden, North Wales their designs are getting worldwide exposure, and once you see them, you’ll love them too!
(from the left; Sally Pattinson and Lettie Pattinson)
We managed to catch up with Lettie Pattinson and chatted about The Design Studio (TDS), their creations, inspiration and the future.
What’s the story behind TDS?
TDS is a story about a mother and daughter joining forces, combining each other’s passions and skills to create beautiful clothing for all women. Growing up with a Mum who was a fashion design lecturer, I was always surrounded by clothing, fabrics, and design. I’d watch her at the sewing machine and play with fabrics beside her. My Mum has always made my clothing at a young age. She has created bespoke wedding dresses, tailored suits, a range of beautiful garments throughout her life! TDS started during my time at university; many students would ask me where my clothes were from and couldn’t believe it when I told them my mum had made them! One item, in particular, was an oversized chunky knit cardigan in black, really simple but somehow seriously stylish and everyone wanted it. From here, we decided to make small collections of the jacket cardigan, and during our next fabric shop, I noticed faux fur in pastel, candy floss colors and just knew faux fur was coming through as a big trend and that’s how it started!
Amazingly Suki Waterhouse followed us on Instagram one day, and I offered to make her a jacket, it wasn’t until then we decided to create it using ice-cream, candy-colored faux fur. As I have grown up, I have realized that I really am so fortunate to have my designs put into reality by my amazing mum! Especially in today’s society, so many people conform to a trend and end up wearing the same thing as everyone else. I have never really been into that and luckily have had the option to create my image.
How do you and your mum split the workload?
We both have our skills we bring to the business; we joined forces to create TDS and combine both our passions and skills. So, the workload is balanced. I take care of photography and marketing while my Mum creates every piece of clothing. Without her I’d have nothing to market or sell and without me .. I couldn’t promote what we make! Both of what we do make TDS, so the world load is balanced. Luckily, we both enjoy what we do, but we are always there to support one another and offer as much advice if either of us is having a bad day or struggling with something. But most importantly we understand when to give each other space too.
Where do you and your mum take inspiration when designing new items?
I think the age difference helps us create wonderful, unique designs. We often find ourselves too ahead of the time! We can make something months in advance which will be coming through the trend-cycle, and it will only become popular months down the line. We get inspired by people we meet, places we go, cultures, architecture, and films. My mum is very traditional and has an incredible selection of historic fashion books and magazines. I love that we look at those and she refers to the history of costume and design influences. Combining both the internet and modern social media with the more traditional ways of research is what makes our brand so unique and special.
What would you say were the three most exciting moments in the past five years?
Every day is new and exciting! Especially when we get to see our amazing clients in their TDS, sharing photos of themselves loving their jackets, worldwide. Being stopped in Shoreditch, someone asked me where my jacket was from, and I pointed to my Mum and said, “she made it!” I loved that. Being guest speakers at The Clothes Show. My mum has been going there since the Clothes Show started taking her students over 20 years ago! So to go together as guest speakers were amazing. Seeing Sophie Turner stepping out in TDS was a major moment for us. She’s the coolest, and we are the biggest Game of Thrones fans!
And any exciting plans for the future?
We take each day as it comes. At the moment, we are really happy with how things are going. I’m scared if we get too big we will lose our uniqueness. I love everything being handmade and designed by just us two. We have new design ideas which we can’t wait to work on. Going into more clothing, accessories and ‘TDS MINI.’
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